By Bruno Federowski
SAO PAULO, March 14 Most Latin American
currencies weakened slightly on Tuesday as traders avoided big
bets ahead of a widely expected U.S. interest rate increase on
A batch of stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data and
policymaker remarks have made investors all but certain that the
U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.
Higher U.S. rates could drain capital away from
high-yielding emerging markets, weighing on their currencies.
Still, many believe markets have already anticipated the
hike, with price reaction hinging on the tone of the policy
statement to be released after a two-day meeting.
Against the dollar, the Mexican peso slipped 0.1
percent, while the Brazilian real fell 0.3 percent.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index declined 0.3
percent, hit by falling shares of state-controlled oil company
Petróleo Brasileiro SA. Stock in Petrobras, as the
firm is known, tracked a decrease in crude futures following an
increase in U.S. oil inventories.
Shares of meatpacker JBS SA were among the
biggest gainers after the company forecast stronger profit
margins this year, despite lower-than-expected fourth-quarter
earnings reported late on Monday.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1545 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI Emerging Markets 940.56 0.22 8.84
MSCI LatAm 2549.31 -0.7 9.69
Brazil Bovespa 65294.78 -0.37 8.41
Mexico IPC 46867.15 -0.5 2.68
Chile IPSA 4522.74 -0.43 8.95
Chile IGPA 22719.12 -0.37 9.57
Argentina MerVal 19010.71 -0.92 12.37
Colombia IGBC 9907.11 -0.7 -2.18
Venezuela IBC 37860.87 -0.51 19.42
Currencies daily % YTD %
Brazil real 3.1613 -0.30 2.78
Mexico peso 19.6310 -0.08 5.67
Chile peso 669.1 -0.36 0.24
Colombia peso 2995.4 -0.56 0.20
Peru sol 3.284 0.03 3.96
Argentina peso (interbank) 15.5300 0.10 2.22
Argentina peso (parallel) 16.04 0.25 4.86
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by W Simon)