August 1, 2018 / 9:23 PM / 2 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Mexican peso firms on NAFTA optimism, stocks slip

 (Updates prices)
    By Bruno Federowski
    BRASILIA, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The Mexican peso strengthened on
Wednesday amid growing optimism about the renegotiation of the
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a crucial pillar of
the nation's economy. 
    Mexican negotiators are traveling to Washington this week
for another round of talks with the United States. The two
countries are nearing agreement on auto content rules, which
have been a sticking point in the negotiations, Mexican and
Canadian officials said on Wednesday.
    Investors will be closely monitoring the talks in the coming
days, CI Banco economist James Salazar said. 
    "Depending on the scope of the potential agreement, the peso
could even appreciate to below 18 per dollar," he said.
    The peso firmed 0.17 percent on Wednesday. 
    But Mexico's benchmark stock index slipped 0.55 percent as
investors continued to book profits after second-quarter
earnings reports last week. 
    In Brazil, the benchmark stock index Bovespa inched
up 0.3 percent, bolstered by the banking sector's recovery. The
country's real currency dipped 0.15 percent.  
    Declining prices of basic materials weighed on shares of
miners, such as Brazil's Vale SA.
    The Chilean peso underperformed, falling 0.89
percent as copper prices slumped due to concerns over escalating
trade tensions.
    
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1959 GMT:
 
 Stock indexes                              daily %     YTD %
                                Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets            1086.11     -0.12     -6.13
                                                     
 MSCI LatAm                       2694.84     -0.27     -4.45
                                                     
 Brazil Bovespa                  79244.66      0.03      3.72
                                                     
 Mexico IPC                      49427.05     -0.55      0.15
                                                     
 Chile IPSA                       5406.10     -0.52     -2.85
                                                     
 Chile IGPA                      27218.88     -0.52     -2.72
                                                     
 Argentina MerVal                29366.47      0.27     -2.33
                                                     
 Colombia IGBC                   12184.83       0.4      7.16
                                                     
 Venezuela IBC                   89611.55      0.29   6994.35
                                                     
                                                             
 Currencies                                 daily %     YTD %
                                             change    change
                                   Latest            
 Brazil real                       3.7584     -0.15    -11.84
                                                     
 Mexico peso                      18.6150      0.17      5.82
                                                     
 Chile peso                        642.55     -0.89     -4.34
                                                     
 Colombia peso                    2895.85     -0.27      2.97
 Peru sol                           3.272      0.00     -1.07
                                                     
 Argentina peso (interbank)       27.5000     -0.29    -32.36
                                                     
 Argentina peso (parallel)          28.15      0.36    -31.69
                                                     
 
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Additional reporting by Julia
Love; Editing by Grant McCool and Sandra Maler)
  
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