February 13, 2018 / 8:51 PM / 9 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico markets steady ahead of key U.S. inflation data

 (Updates prices, adds analyst comment)
    MEXICO CITY, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Mexican markets held steady
on Tuesday, as investors awaited U.S. inflation data that could
shine a light on the possible next steps of the Federal Reserve
Bank's monetary policy and future appetite for emerging market
assets. 
    In New York, Wall Street's three main indexes traded higher,
reversing earlier losses even as investors focused on the
release on Wednesday of data on U.S. consumer prices and retail
sales.
    A strong reading on the data could fan concerns of faster
interest rate hikes. Higher interest rates would dampen interest
in high-yield emerging market assets. 
    Mexico's IPC index edged up, lifted by shares in
Mexican miner and infrastructure firm Grupo Mexico
. 
    Shares in Mexican conglomerate Alfa, which
competes in industries from food packaging to car parts to
petrochemicals, were up 0.33 percent, the day after the company
reported a narrower net loss in the fourth quarter. 
    Telecoms giant America Movil, which is controlled
by billionaire Carlos Slim, was set to report fourth-quarter
earnings later on Tuesday. Its shares were up 0.07 percent in
late afternoon trading.
    Mexico's peso weakened 0.3 percent to 18.66
pesos per dollar. 
    "If prices (in the United States) rebound more than
expected, this could provoke new declines in equity and spread
to other assets considered to be risky, such as currencies from
emerging markets," CI Banco said in a report to investors.
    However, if the data shows less consumer price pressures
than expected, emerging market currencies could post gains, the
bank said.
    The markets in Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, were
closed for Carnival celebrations, as were Argentina's.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2024 GMT:
   
 Latin American market                                    
 prices from Reuters                              
                                                  
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1165.26      1.03     -0.44
                                                  
 MSCI LatAm                    2965.50      0.15       4.7
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa               80898.70     -0.78      5.89
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                   47955.95      0.26     -2.83
                                                  
 Chile IPSA                    5500.58     -1.02     -1.15
                                                  
 Chile IGPA                   27782.93     -0.94     -0.71
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal             30143.44     -2.83      0.26
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC                11571.31     -0.43      1.76
                                                  
 Venezuela IBC                    0.00         0   -100.00
                                                  
                                                          
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
                                Latest            
 Brazil real                    3.2935      0.00      0.60
                                                  
 Mexico peso                   18.6600     -0.30      5.57
                                                  
 Chile peso                        597      0.13      2.96
                                                  
 Colombia peso                  2904.2     -0.53      2.68
 Peru sol                        3.273     -0.15     -1.10
                                                  
 Argentina peso                19.9600      0.10     -6.81
 (interbank)                                      
                                                  
 Argentina peso                  20.18     -1.24     -4.71
 (parallel)                                       
                                                  
 
 (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Diane Craft and
Leslie Adler)
  
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