EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil, Mexico currencies firm on U.S. rate cut prospects
June 12 (Reuters) - The currencies of Brazil and Mexico firmed on Wednesday, benefiting from prospects that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates soon after data showed that U.S. inflation barely rose in May.
The greenback held steady after a brief dip on the data. Emerging market currencies tend to firm on expectations of Fed interest rate cut as a higher borrowing cost environment tends to divert money out of riskier assets. FRX/
A steady move higher in U.S. interest rates last year saw outflows in emerging markets that contributed to currency crises in Argentina and Turkey among others.
Brazil's real BRL= climbed 0.4% with hopes of pension reform passage, seen as crucial to get the economy back on track, lifting sentiment toward the currency.
"We remain optimistic passage and stay bullish BRL," analysts at Citigroup said in a note.
Mexico's peso MXN= was rose marginally, looking set to extend gains to a fourth day.
The currency has made up most of the losses incurred after U.S. President Donald Trump's surprise threat late last month to impose tariffs on Mexican imports.
Most other regional currencies weakened though, with lower oil prices contributing to a 0.5% fall in crude exporting Colombia's peso COP=, the first decline in five days. O/R Chile's peso CLP= also ticked lower as prices of copper - the country's main export - fell. MET/L
Overall, emerging markets remained under pressure after Trump said he would hold up a trade deal with China unless it agreed to four or five major points.
Going into the G20 summit this month, some profit taking among emerging markets currencies could be expected, analysts at Citigroup said a note.
Trump has said he is ready to impose another round of tariffs in Chinese goods if no progress is made in trade talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit.
Among stocks, Brazil's Bovespa .BVSP fell 0.2% after hitting 12-week highs in early trade as iron ore and oil majors on the index were hit by falling prices of crude and the steel-making ingredient. IRONORE/
Grupo Pão de Açucar (GPA) PCAR4.SA, the controlling shareholder of Brazil's home appliances and furniture retailer Via Varejo VVAR3.SA, was among top gainers, up 1.4% gain.
GPA said its board of directors approved the sale of all shares it owns in Via Varejo for a minimum price of 4.75 reais each. Via Varejo shares slid 4.4%.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1426 GMT:
Daily % change
MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF
MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS
Brazil Bovespa .BVSP
Mexico IPC .MXX
Chile IPSA .SPCLXIPSA
Argentina MerVal .MERV
Colombia IGBC .IGBC
Daily % change
Brazil real BRBY
Mexico peso MXN=D2
Chile peso CLP=CL
Colombia peso COP=
Peru sol PEN=PE
Argentina peso (interbank) ARS=RASL
(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Thomas)
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