EMERGING MARKETS-Russian rouble gives up gains; Brazil's real skids 1% to lead Latam FX lower
By Susan Mathew
Sept 18 (Reuters) - Russia's rouble gave up session gains on Friday after the central bank left the door open to more interest rate cuts, while in Latin America, currencies failed to capitalize on the dollar's weakness as virus fears kept sentiment subdued.
The rouble RUB= hit session lows, giving up gains of as much as 0.5%, after the central bank held rates at 4.25%, as expected, but indicated a rate cut was still possible later this year.
Lower rates support the economy through cheaper lending but can also increase inflation, the central bank's main remit, and make the rouble more vulnerable to external shocks.
"Uncertainties with (the government's 2021-23) budget and foreign policy may extend the pause (in rates cuts) till December," said Dmitry Dolgin, chief economist, Russia at ING.
"In a longer run, we continue to believe in further scope for the key rate cut, as the Russian real key rate has reached the central bank's threshold between loose and neutral monetary policy... A return to the neutral monetary policy... at this point appears as a prospect for periods beyond 2021."
Globally, sentiment remained fragile amid disappointment over lack of new stimulus from major central banks and fears of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. MKTS/GLOB
Latin America, the region worst-hit by the pandemic, saw its currencies slide against a weaker greenback, with a 1% fall in Brazil's real BRBY leading losses. FRX/
The Peruvian sol PEN= snapped a four-session winning streak as President Martin Vizcarra faces an impeachment hearing after the country's constitutional court on Thursday rejected his appeal to delay congressional efforts to remove him from his post.
In Argentina, the peso ARS=RASL was flat. The International Monetary Fund said it is evaluating Argentina's federal budget proposal and enhanced foreign exchange controls as part of its discussions over a new program for the South American country to update a $57 billion agreement struck two years ago.
Mexico's peso MXN= hit fresh six-month highs, but soon lost traction, last down 0.3%, while Colombia's peso COP= extended loses to a fourth day running.
Among stocks, a financials and energy drag weighed on Brazil's Bovespa .BVSP, while Mexico's Ipc index .MXX rose as much as 0.4%.
But on the week, MSCI's index of Latam shares .MILA00000PUS as well as currencies .MILA00000CUS are set to end higher as vaccine hopes and some upbeat data from China and the United States had lifted sentiment.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1406 GMT:
Daily % change
MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF
MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS
Brazil Bovespa .BVSP
Mexico IPC .MXX
Argentina MerVal .MERV
Colombia COLCAP .COLCAP
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 Marguerita Choy)
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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