November 24, 2017 / 3:37 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm markets quiet; Mexico peso up

    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The Mexican peso strengthened
on Friday after the nation's central bank governor said the
currency was undervalued, on a day of quiet activity in Latin
American markets.
    The peso firmed 0.3 percent to 18.6 to the dollar,
still weaker than the 17 to 18 pesos per dollar range Central
Bank Governor Agustin Carstens considers reasonable.

    The central bank has repeatedly offered dollar hedging
instruments in order to cushion the currency's recent decline,
which took it to eight-month lows.
    The peso has been battered by concerns that U.S. President
Donald Trump may make good on his threats to scrap the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), dealing a blow to the
heavily U.S. dependent economy.
    The Mexican economy shrank for the first time in nearly two
years in the third quarter after hurricanes and earthquakes
pounded the country.
    The central bank sees growth of up to 3 percent next year,
but is concerned that the NAFTA talks could falter, which would
further dent economic activity and hurt the peso.
    Most other currencies in the region were near flat. The
Brazilian real was the only decliner as traders booked
profits on a five-day string of gains.
    The nation's benchmark Bovespa stock index treaded
water, but shares of Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA
 fell after the state utility delayed a deadline to
sell six power distribution firms in northeast Brazil.
    Traders in Brazilian markets have erred on the side of
caution as doubts linger on whether President Michel Temer will
manage to pass a plan to streamline the social security system
and curb public debt.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1720 GMT:
 Stock indexes                           daily %    YTD %
                                          change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          1153.72     0.11    33.65
 MSCI LatAm                     2823.91     0.13    20.49
 Brazil Bovespa                74461.07    -0.03    23.63
 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC            47887.51    -0.52     4.92
 Chile IPSA                     5060.91     0.53    21.91
 Chile IGPA                    25475.35     0.45    22.87
 Argentina MerVal              27403.28      0.4    61.98
 Colombia IGBC                 10849.78    -0.12     7.13
 Venezuela IBC                   704.47    -0.02   -97.78
 Currencies                              daily %    YTD %
                                          change   change
 Brazil real                     3.2267    -0.15     0.70
 Mexico peso                    18.5555     0.29    11.79
 Chile peso                       632.8     0.33     5.99
 Colombia peso                  2971.15     0.19     1.02
 Peru sol                         3.236     0.03     5.50
 Argentina peso (interbank)     17.3475     0.36    -8.49
 Argentina peso (parallel)        18.05     0.28    -6.81

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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