Currencies

Latam currencies set for worst week in 6 months as dollar soars

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies set for worst week in 6 months as dollar soars

Peru’s central bank cuts benchmark interest rate to 6%

Colombia inflation to fall at slower rate in coming months: policymaker

Brazil’s services activity unexpectedly down in February

Argentina’s inflation data on tap

Latam stocks down 1.3%, FX down 1.1%

By Bansari Mayur Kamdar

April 12 (Reuters)Currencies in Latin America fell on Friday and were on track for their worst weekly performance since October as the dollar rallied after this week’s red-hot U.S. inflation print eroded hopes the Federal Reserve would cut rates in June.

The MSCI index for Latin American currencies .MILA00000CUS fell 1.1% and was set to end the week 1.4% lower.

Denting investor appetite for riskier emerging market assets, the U.S. dollar =USD soared after stronger than expected U.S. consumer prices data on Wednesday and commentary from Fed officials saying there is no rush to cut interest rates.

Leading regional losses, Mexico’s peso MXN= dropped 1.6% against the dollar. In a volatile week, the peso briefly hit its highest level since 2015 before retreating and heading for its worst weekly performance so far this year.

“This is partly just a reflection of the fact that Latin American central banks have had a bit more space to ease and some of this modest weakness we’ve seen this week is a bit of a reversal of the incredible strength,” said Rachel Ziemba, founder at Ziemba Insights.

“We’re entering into this important period for the peso with the election campaign and with the dynamics with the central bank.”

Peru’s sol PEN= bucked weakness in the region, inching higher after its central bank cut the benchmark interest rate to 6.00% on Thursday, from a previous rate of 6.25%.

This marked a return to monetary easing in Peru after a surprise hold last month hit pause on a series of cuts that began last September.

Also in focus, Peru’s Congress approved a proposal on Thursday that will allow retirees to tap savings accounts that the financial regulator estimated could force pension fund administrators to sell some $7 billion in assets.

Stocks in the South American country .SPBLPGPT inched 0.4% up.

Argentine investors awaited inflation data due later in the day that is expected to show consumer prices rose by 12% in March, the pace declining for the third straight month.

The South American nation is battling inflation that is running on an annual basis above 275%.

Argentina’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 10 points to 70% on Thursday, the third adjustment since libertarian President Javier Milei took office in December.

Brazil’s real BRL= shed 0.9% against the greenback and was set for its sixth straight week lower.

Activity in Brazil’s services sector fell 0.9% in February from the previous month, data showed, missing analyst forecasts.

The Colombian peso COP= fell 1.2% against the dollar.

Colombia’s inflation rate will fall at a slower pace in the coming months but will reach the central bank’s target by mid-2025, bank board member Olga Lucia Acosta said.

El Salvador priced a six-year, $1 billion note yielding 12% to be issued next week, underwritten by Bank of America Securities, LSEG data show.

Meanwhile, in Asia, central banks of Singapore and South Korea keep monetary policy unchanged earlier in the day.

The broader emerging market currencies index .MIEM00000CUS fell 0.5% to its lowest level since January, while stocks .MSCIEF shed 1.3%

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Vietnam central bank to increase gold bar supplies to stablise market

** Argentina’s government (and a bot) say inflation is easing. Shoppers aren’t so sure

** Indian voters want jobs, price reduction – survey

** India’s March retail inflation eases to five-month low

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1443 GMT:

Stock indexes

Latest

Daily % change

MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF

1041.38

-1.3

MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS

2486.60

-1.27

Brazil Bovespa .BVSP

127181.19

-0.17

Mexico IPC .MXX

56883.60

0.09

Chile IPSA .SPIPSA

6646.39

-1.19

Argentina MerVal .MERV

1260695.66

0.111

Colombia COLCAP .COLCAP

1410.52

-0.33

Currencies

Latest

Daily % change

Brazil real BRBY

5.1383

-0.95

Mexico peso MXN=D2

16.7028

-1.61

Chile peso CLP=CL

961.2

-0.68

Colombia peso COP=

3871.8

-1.30

Peru sol PEN=PE

3.7076

-0.80

Argentina peso (interbank) ARS=RASL

866.5000

-0.06

Argentina peso (parallel) ARSB=

975

2.56

Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru

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