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EMERGING MARKETS-Rising rouble calms Latam markets after recent rout
December 17, 2014 / 3:16 PM / 3 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Rising rouble calms Latam markets after recent rout

SAO PAULO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and
currencies were mostly stronger on Wednesday after Russia's
rouble rebounded against the dollar, easing investor jitters
over global financial stability.
    Debt, equities and foreign exchange markets in Latin America
have been hammered this month after a sharp drop in oil prices
and a plummeting Russian rouble sapped demand for riskier
investments from emerging markets.
    On Wednesday the rouble halted its decline and strengthened
about 7 percent after the government sold dollars and because
exporters also sold dollars in preparation for monthly tax
payments due this week.
    "The rouble is rising and that is putting aside some of the
concerns of an uncontrolled freefall," said Jaime Ferreira, head
of currency trading at Sao Paulo brokerage Intercam. "But the
market is still very sensitive and it could turn sour again with
any new scare."
    The Brazilian real strengthened against the dollar
after five straight days of declines that saw the currency reach
its weakest point in 9 and 1/2 years.
    Investors also kept their eye on the outlook for the central
bank's currency intervention program. Central bank head
Alexandre Tombini said on Tuesday that the program, which offers
hedging protection to local businesses and helps support the
real, would continue next year, although the size of the program
could be reduced.
    "Decreasing it is equivalent to buying dollars, and would
likely feed into even greater real losses," Brown Brothers
Harriman analysts wrote in a client note. 
    A short-term decrease of the intervention was unlikely, they
    The Chilean and Mexican pesos  also gained
against the dollar.
    Latin American stock markets moved mostly higher, with
Brazil's Bovespa stock index notching its biggest
one-day gain in nearly a month. 
    Gains were concentrated in the most widely traded banking
shares on expectations for higher interest rates given the
increasing inflation pressure from a weaker currency. As
interest rates rise local banks gain more from holdings of
interest-rate-linked government debt.
    Shares of state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA
 rose slightly on bargain-hunting after the stock,
which has been suffering due to ongoing corruption
investigations, touched its lowest level in ten years on
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1502 GMT:
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          918.59      0.95     -9.25
 MSCI LatAm                    2584.38      3.49    -21.98
 Brazil Bovespa               48184.52       2.5     -6.45
 Mexico IPC                    40869.1       1.6     -4.35
 Chile IPSA                    3768.58      0.45      1.88
 Chile IGPA                   18515.15      0.39      1.58
 Argentina MerVal              7893.87      2.91     46.43
 Colombia IGBC                10629.28      1.43    -18.68
 Peru IGRA                    14146.52      0.11    -10.20
 Venezuela IBC                 3819.31     -0.16     39.57
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
 Brazil real                    2.7011      1.23    -12.75
 Mexico peso                    14.636      0.76    -10.97
 Chile peso                      617.8      0.36    -14.84
 Colombia peso                  2417.4      0.31    -20.08
 Peru sol                        2.962      0.20     -5.71
 Argentina peso                 8.5500      0.03    -24.06
 Argentina peso                   13.1      0.38    -23.66
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Writing by Asher Levine Editing
by W Simon)

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