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Aaron Saldanha

EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging market stocks dip, FX holds course ahead of Fed meet

20 Mar 2019

March 20 Emerging market stocks lost steam on Wednesday, slipping for the first time in four sessions, while developing world currencies held an even keel as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate decision and outlook due later in day.

EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging market stocks rise, FX firms ahead of Fed meet

19 Mar 2019

March 19 Emerging market stocks hit a six and a half month peak on Tuesday and developing world currencies firmed against a soft dollar on expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will strike a dovish stance at its meeting this week.

EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging market stocks, FX buoyed by hope of dovish Fed

18 Mar 2019

* Expectations prevail of a dovish U.S. Fed at meeting this week

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks rise on U.S.-China trade optimism, FX firms

15 Mar 2019

By Aaron Saldanha March 15 Latin American stock markets rose along with global peers on Friday, helped by optimism on the U.S.-China trade front, while currencies in Latin America firmed against a dollar softened by weaker than expected U.S. data. Risk appetite was boosted after a Xinhua report said officials from the United States and China, a key destination for Latin American resources exports, made substantive progress on trade. The dollar weakened as data showed U.S. manufacturing output fell in February, underscoring the Federal Reserve's "patient" stance towards interest rate increases this year. MSCI's index of Latin American stocks rose 0.7 percent, while its Latin American currencies index gained 0.1 percent. The show-stealer among currencies was Argentina's peso , which firmed about 1.8 percent to its strongest level in more than a week, after the local central bank announced measures the day before aimed at tightening monetary policy. Dirk Willer, Citi Research's head of emerging market strategy, and Kenneth Lam, emerging markets FX strategist, said in a note that the central bank's stricter measures and the finance ministry's sales of dollars confirmed on Thursday support their view the USD/ARS currency pair will fall towards the currency floor. Argentinean equities rose 0.7 percent. Those in neighboring Brazil tacked on 0.5 percent, as gains across most sectors outweighed losses among materials and energy stocks. Common and preferred shares of state-run oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) managed to withstand pressure from lower oil prices as they eked out modest gains. Petrobras shares were supported by comments from its chief executive, Roberto Castello Branco, who said he believes the firm will have divested about $10 billion in assets in the first four months of 2019. The CEO of Caixa said the lender would sell its Petrobras stake. Brazilian stocks on the whole have enjoyed a strong week and are on course to end at its highest weekly closing level on record. Mexican stocks rose half a percent, as did the country's peso, which is seen by some investors as a weather vane of trade sentiment. Stocks in Chile rose 0.3 percent, as did the country's peso, which was supported by firm prices of top Chilean export copper. Colombia's peso firmed for a fourth straight day and was on course for its best closing level in more than a week, while local stocks rose 0.3 percent. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1413 GMT Stock indexes daily % Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 1056.99 0.84 MSCI LatAm 2840.11 0.73 Brazil Bovespa 99127.79 0.53 Mexico IPC 41979.04 0.48 Chile IPSA 5318.97 0.34 Argentina MerVal 33777.13 0.74 Colombia IGBC 12870.44 0.26 Currencies daily % change Latest Brazil real 3.8310 0.42 Mexico peso 19.2280 0.47 Chile peso 669.3 0.27 Colombia peso 3121.28 0.62 Peru sol 3.297 0.03 Argentina peso (interbank) 39.9500 2.08 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging market stocks, currencies dip after mixed China data

14 Mar 2019

* Russian FX conversion rules could change - Finance Minister

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX rises as data supports expectations of patient Fed

13 Mar 2019

By Aaron Saldanha March 13 Most Latin American currencies rose against a softer dollar on Wednesday after data supported hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve would be patient about raising borrowing costs in the world's top economy. U.S. producer prices barely rose in February, reinforcing the Fed's wait-and-see approach on further rate raises this year. The data aided broad risk appetite in emerging markets, which were battered in 2018 as the dollar strengthened on multiple rate hikes. "A weaker U.S. dollar would ease global funding conditions and may work in favor of prolonging the global economic expansion," Morgan Stanley strategists wrote in a note. Mexico's peso rose 0.3 percent, half the gain local stocks saw. Data showed industrial activity in Latin America's second-largest economy rose 0.6 percent in January from the previous month, further supporting sentiment. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he does not "rule out" a listing in the local market for heavily indebted state oil firm Pemex, including some form of new bond issuance, but he added that such a move to attract new funds is not necessary. Colombia's peso firmed 0.2 percent, while equities on the local bourse tacked on 0.4 percent. Shares of energy firm Ecopetrol SA rode firmer oil prices higher, gaining 0.6 percent. Chilean stocks added 0.4 percent, while their peers in Argentina rose 1.1 percent. Brazilian assets were the exception to the norm among the regional peers, as the real lost steam after three straight sessions of gains, sliding 0.4 percent. A constitutional and justice committee is expected to be formed to review President Jair Bolsonaro's proposal to reform Brazil's bloated pension system, which is seen as critical by investors in Latin America's top most populous country. Sao Paulo-traded shares also fell, down 0.2 percent, as losses among financials and industrials took their toll. Gains in the materials and energy sectors helped avert steeper losses for the benchmark. State-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA saw its common shares and preferred shares rise 1.6 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, tracking higher oil prices. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1429 GMT Stock indexes daily % Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 1049.59 -0.18 MSCI LatAm 2806.95 -0.24 Brazil Bovespa 97591.52 -0.24 Mexico IPC 41969.32 0.55 Chile IPSA 5311.33 0.41 Argentina MerVal 34019.49 1.13 Colombia IGBC 12652.90 0.44 Currencies daily % change Latest Brazil real 3.8261 -0.27 Mexico peso 19.2960 0.28 Chile peso 664.5 0.21 Colombia peso 3140.33 0.21 Peru sol 3.294 0.09 Argentina peso (interbank) 41.6500 -0.31 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru Editing by Nick Zieminski)

EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks, currencies gain on renewed trade hopes

12 Mar 2019

* British approval of Brexit deal could boost emerging Europe FX

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX, stocks rise, Brazil gains on pension reform hopes

11 Mar 2019

By Aaron Saldanha March 11 Latin American currencies and stocks gained broadly on Monday, with Brazilian assets rising on investor optimism about the progress in pension reform in Latin America's largest economy. An overhaul of the country's bloated pension system, which President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday cannot take all year, is eagerly anticipated by investors. "We're likely going to see more public campaigning by the president, which is the most effective way to put pressure on Congress to garner the votes and prevent the reform from being watered down too much," Dirk Willer, Citi research head of emerging market strategy, and Kenneth Lam, emerging markets FX strategist, said in a note. House Speaker Rodrigo Maia may start forming a constitutional and justice committee Monday amid hopes that it could be ready to review the pension reform proposal by Wednesday. With a 0.6 percent gain in Brazil's real, the currency was on course for its best one-day showing in nearly a month, while local 10-year bonds yielded 8.87 percent, after touching a two and a half-week low. Sao Paulo-traded stocks were 1.7 percent higher, aided by gains across the board, and were set to notch their best day in nearly a month if the gains hold. State-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) was among the biggest supports for the index. Its common shares and preferred shares followed oil prices higher, rising 3.7 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. Preferred shares of Azul SA flew up 6.4 percent after the airline said it intends to fork out $105 million for assets of rival Avianca Brasil, which was headed to court to face aircraft lessors. Mexican stocks edged up 0.7 percent while the peso firmed 0.4 percent and was on course for its best performance in more than two weeks. Chile's peso rose 0.7 percent, supported by a firm price for copper, the country's top export. Stocks in Chile rose 0.8 percent. Colombian stocks tacked on 0.8 percent, with energy firm Ecopetrol SA adding 1.3 percent on the back of stronger oil prices. Argentina's peso was 0.8 percent firmer, while local stocks rose 2.4 percent on heightened risk appetite. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1423 GMT Stock indexes daily % Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 1040.56 1.01 MSCI LatAm 2780.07 1.86 Brazil Bovespa 96934.48 1.65 Mexico IPC 41867.86 0.68 Chile IPSA 5317.35 0.8 Argentina MerVal 33821.42 2.43 Colombia IGBC 12407.76 0.77 Currencies daily % change Latest Brazil real 3.8417 0.73 Mexico peso 19.4050 0.46 Chile peso 668.8 0.30 Colombia peso 3154.97 0.52 Peru sol - - Argentina peso (interbank) 40.5600 1.58 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks hop onto global sell-off wagon, FX softer

08 Mar 2019

By Aaron Saldanha March 8 Latin American stocks fell on Friday after disappointing export data from China heightened fears of slowing global growth, while most Latin American currencies regained some ground lost earlier in the session against a dollar weakened by soft U.S. data. Data earlier in the global day showed exports from China, a key destination for Latin American resource exports, fell 20.7 percent in February, year-on-year. Commodities such as oil and copper prices were dented by fears over slowing demand by major consumer China, singling out Latin America's commodity-correlated currencies to weaken on the day. However, data showing the U.S. economy created a paltry 20,000 jobs in February gave a lift to hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve would be more patient about increasing interest rates, lending some support to Latin American currencies. "Boy, 20,000, what a shocker. It is awful," Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco, adding that the "anemic jobs report is only going to add to concerns about a global slowdown." Chilean equities slid 0.6 percent, while the local peso fell after the price of copper - the country's top export - dropped for a third straight day. The currency narrowed its losses to 0.4 percent after the release of the U.S. data from about 0.6 percent earlier. Colombia's peso also narrowed losses but was trading 0.4 percent weaker, with a 2.6 percent fall in oil prices in the background. Sao Paulo-traded stocks dropped 0.7 percent, weighed on by losses across most sectors. The declines were especially large among resources firms. State-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) common shares fell 1.8 percent. The indebted oil firm's preferred shares dropped 1.2 percent. Mining giant Vale SA traded 1.8 percent lower, on track for its worst session in close to a month after iron ore prices dipped after the Chinese data. Brazil's real reversed course to trade 0.2 percent higher after President Jair Bolsonaro said voting on reform to the country's bloated pension system, much awaited by investors, cannot take all year. Mexico's peso, one of the developing world's top traded currencies, edged higher. Argentina's peso firmed, in an exception to the trend across the region. The currency had plumbed a record low on Thursday, triggering fears of a repeat of 2018, when it shed about half its value. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1413 GMT Stock indexes daily % Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 1029.32 -1.36 MSCI LatAm 2693.79 -0.69 Brazil Bovespa 93701.42 -0.68 Mexico IPC - - Chile IPSA 5216.21 -0.77 Argentina MerVal - - Colombia IGBC - - Currencies daily % change Latest Brazil real 3.8665 0.45 Mexico peso 19.5280 0.11 Chile peso 671 -0.53 Colombia peso 3154.49 -0.46 Peru sol - - Argentina peso (interbank) 41.5000 2.41 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru, Additional reporting by Michael Connor in New York Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging market stocks, FX fall as China export slump weighs

08 Mar 2019

* Shanghai Composite drops 4.4 pct, Chinese blue-chips down 4 pct

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