EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX broadly softer, Brazil's real firms

Credit: REUTERS/Bruno Domingos

By Aaron Saldanha

May 28 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies softened against the dollar on Tuesday as fears over the U.S.-China trade war cast a pall on risk sentiment, while a Latin American stocks index rose, underpinned by gains in Brazil.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he was not ready to make a trade deal with China, but expected one in the future. The dollar firmed against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, lifted by trade and political worries. MKTS/GLOBFRX/

MSCI's Latin American currencies index .MILA00000CUS dipped 0.4%, while its Latin American stocks index .MILA00000PUS was up 0.2% as stocks in index heavyweight Brazil rose.

Brazilian assets were outliers to the regional norm on the increased likelihood a decree to revamp Brazil's executive branch will pass.

President Jair Bolsonaro convinced his party to vote for the decree, averting a potential crisis that had sown doubt about his ability to obtain congressional backing he needs to push through legislation.

The real BRL= firmed 0.6%, while yields on local 10-year bonds BR10YT=RR dipped 2 basis points to 8.78%.

"We've seen the currency become more sensitive to interest rate differentials than it has been over the last couple of months," said Christian Lawrence, senior market strategist at Rabobank.

"It's become more sensitive to data releases, but that's really via the channel of interest rates where we've certainly seen correlation between the currency and interest rates rise quite markedly in recent sessions."

The Bovespa index .BVSP rose 1.3% on broad-based gains.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA's (Petrobras) common shares PETR3.SA and preferred shares PETR4.SA rose 0.5% and 1.1%, respectively.

The state-run oil firm is nearing the sale of two oilfields in a process that could fetch around $1 billion and has set a June 5 deadline to receive final binding offers, two sources said.

Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of Brazil's lower house, said he is negotiating additional clauses to a bill in Congress to solve the so-called transfer-of-rights issue with Petrobras.

The Mexican peso MXN= softened 0.6%, while stocks .MXX edged up.

Chile's peso CLP= slumped 1.5%, set for its weakest closing level since February 2016, falling prey to the stronger greenback. Chile will be hit by a worsening U.S.-China trade war as it is a major exporter of copper.

Argentina's stocks .MERV fell 2.4%, while the peso ARS= firmed about 0.9% to levels last seen nearly a week ago.

Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1940 GMT

Stock indexes


daily % change

MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF






Brazil Bovespa .BVSP



Mexico IPC .MXX






Argentina MerVal .MERV



Colombia IGBC .IGBC





daily % change

Brazil real BRBY



Mexico peso MXNUSD=R



Chile peso CLP=CL



Colombia peso COP=



Peru sol PEN=PE



Argentina peso (interbank) ARS=RASL



(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)

((Aaron.Saldanha@thomsonreuters.com; +91 80 6749 1130; Reuters Messaging: Aaron.Saldanha@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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