January 5, 2018 / 4:54 PM / 16 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies tread water after mixed U.S. jobs data

    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
treaded water on Friday after a mixed batch of U.S. employment
figures kept traders guessing about the pace of U.S. interest
rate hikes.
    U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in December, but a
pick-up in monthly wage gains pointed to labor market strength.

    Economists saw the figures, after a recent stretch of solid
economic data, as supporting the case for a March interest rate
hike but offering few clues over monetary policy further on.
    Higher U.S. rates could dampen demand for emerging market
assets, which offer higher yields.
    Currencies from Brazil, Mexico and Chile
 were nearly flat following a rally in the first days of
the year.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index held near
all-time highs as profit-taking kept a lid on gains.
    Shares of homebuilder Cyrela Brazil Realty SA
were among the biggest gainers after Morgan Stanley upgraded its
recommendation on the stock to "overweight" from "underweight."
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1640 GMT:
 Stock indexes                               daily %     YTD %
                                              change    change
                                  Latest              
 MSCI Emerging Markets              1200.50     0.67      2.94
 MSCI LatAm                         2967.34     0.28      4.63
 Brazil Bovespa                    78950.51     0.39      3.34
 Mexico IPC                        49997.93     0.51      1.30
 Chile IPSA                         5669.04      0.6      1.88
 Chile IGPA                        28507.22     0.63      1.88
 Argentina MerVal                  32090.68     0.43      6.74
 Colombia IGBC                     11752.66     0.24      3.36
                                                              
 Currencies                                  daily %     YTD %
                                              change    change
                                     Latest           
 Brazil real                         3.2315     0.05      2.53
 Mexico peso                        19.2580     0.06      2.29
                                                      
 Chile peso                           605.8    -0.15      1.46
 Colombia peso                      2899.76    -0.47      2.84
 Peru sol                             3.211    -0.06      0.81
 Argentina peso (interbank)         19.0100    -2.00     -2.16
                                                      
 Argentina peso (parallel)             19.4     0.05     -0.88
                                                      
 
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Tom Brown)
  
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