September 19, 2017 / 6:47 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies nearly flat ahead of Fed statement

    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
treaded water on Tuesday on the first day of the Federal
Reserve's widely awaited two-day meeting, when the U.S. central
bank is expected to provide further clues on when it will hike
interest rates again.
    The Mexican peso and the Brazilian real were
nearly flat as traders avoided risky bets ahead of the key
policy statement set to be published on Wednesday.
    "What we're seeing in the markets is the calm before the
storm," Coinvalores trader Paulo Nepomuceno said.
    Investors bet the Fed will also announce it will begin
trimming its massive portfolio of assets, another step in its
efforts to unwind the extraordinary stimulus set up during the
financial crisis.
    Analysts widely expect the pace of policy tightening in the
United States to be a major driver of currency moves in emerging
markets, which have for years enjoyed steady investor demand as
central banks pumped liquidity into developed markets.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index slipped 0.2
percent, weighed down by a decline in shares of miner Vale SA
 in the wake of falling iron ore futures.
    Meanwhile, Mexico's S&P/BVM IPC stock index turned
0.2 percent lower after a powerful earthquake hit southern
Mexico, shaking buildings in Mexico City.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1830 GMT:
 Stock indexes                  Latest      Daily   YTD pct
                                             pct     change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1,109.39    -0.32     29.07
 MSCI LatAm                      2,984.84    -0.31     27.92
 Brazil Bovespa                 75,834.54    -0.21     25.91
 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC             50,142.35    -0.23      9.86
 Argentina MerVal               24,110.00     0.82     42.51
 Colombia IGBC                  11,131.77    -0.33      9.91
 Venezuela IBC                 436,716.72     3.15  1,277.43
 Currencies                        Latest    Daily   YTD pct
                                               pct    change
 Brazil real                       3.1336     0.04      3.69
 Mexico peso                      17.7700    -0.06     16.74
 Colombia peso                    2,897.5     0.28      3.59
 Peru sol                           3.246    -0.06      5.18
 Argentina peso (interbank)       17.1350    -0.15     -7.35
 Argentina peso (parallel)          17.92     0.00     -6.14
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Chris Reese)
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