December 26, 2019 / 2:47 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazilian real, Chilean peso in spotlight as Latam FX gains

    * Brazilian real firms at 4.05 against dollar
    * Chilean peso at highest levels since early Nov. 
    * Latam FX index set to post fourth weekly gain

    By Shreyashi Sanyal and Medha Singh
    Dec 26 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies gained ground
on Thursday, with Brazil's real and Chile's peso leading the
charge in a thin volume session as investors returned from a
Christmas break.
    The Brazilian currency firmed at 4.05 reais against
the dollar. The real has recently benefited from an improved
economic outlook for Brazil.    
    S&P Global Ratings could boost Brazil's sovereign rating if
a cut in its deficit as a percentage of GDP is confirmed, the
credit firm's lead analyst for the country said, helping support
the rise in the real.
    Service reliability in Brazil rose in December to its
highest since February.  
    "This reinforces our call that the current economic
conditions (in Brazil) sustain more solid growth into 2020,
albeit at a moderate pace," Citigroup's global head of emerging
market strategy Dirk Willer wrote in a note.
    The Chilean peso traded at levels not seen since
early November. A monthly poll of 61 traders showed the central
bank is expected to maintain Chile's interest rate at 1.75% for
the next 12 months until at least January 2021.
    The peso has had a rough ride following more than two months
of anti-government protests.
    MSCI's index of Latin American currencies
rose 0.5% and looked set to close the final week of the year
with gains. Improving trade relations between Washington and
Beijing has helped market players increase their exposure to
riskier assets in the last month of 2019.     
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1416 GMT:
    
      Stock indexes               Latest    Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets             1110.17            0.09
                                            
 MSCI LatAm                        2920.59            0.43
 Brazil Bovespa                  116171.93            0.27
 Mexico IPC                           0.00               0
 Chile IPSA                        4684.06           -0.65
                                            
 Argentina MerVal                        -               -
 Colombia COLCAP                      -                -
                                                          
          Currencies              Latest    Daily % change
 Brazil real                        4.0620            0.39
                                            
 Mexico peso                       18.9524            0.09
                                            
 Chile peso                          746.3            0.52
 Colombia peso                     3284.49            0.41
 Peru sol                            3.314            0.09
                                            
 Argentina peso (interbank)        59.8150            0.29
                                            
 

 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Medha Singh in Bengaluru;
Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
  
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