EMERGING MARKETS-Cenbank forex swap buoys Brazil’ real3 min read
By Susan Mathew
May 24 (Reuters) – Brazil’s real recovered from over two-week lows on Monday as the central bank intervened, while above target inflation data in Mexico spurred bets of tighter monetary policy, helping the peso overlook central bank uncertainty.
Data on Monday showed annual headline inflation in Mexico stood at 5.80% in the year through the first half of May, well above the central bank’s target of 3%, strengthening the case to end an easing cycle.
The peso MXN= rose 0.2%. It had dipped on Friday after Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said current central bank chief Alejandro Diaz de Leon’s term will not be renewed when it ends in December. Lopez Obrador said will nominate an economist with a “social dimension”.
“We think that it will be until November or December, when the President will propose to the Senate the nomination of the new board member,” analysts at Credit Suisse said.
In equities, Aeromexico’s shares AEROMEX.MX fell 0.2% after sources said the U.S. government is preparing to downgrade Mexico’s aviation safety rating, a move that would bar Mexican carriers from adding new U.S. flights and limit airlines’ ability to carry out marketing agreements.
Brazil’s real BRBY rose 0.6% after the central bank said it will start a program of foreign exchange swap auctions on Monday that will eventually roll over the $12.2 billion worth of traditional swaps contracts due to expire on Aug. 2. FRX/
The political atmosphere in the country grew tenser after former leftist and centrist presidents met to try to join forces and oppose current far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro in elections next year.
“With regard to the BRL, it is particularly important to watch whether President Bolsonaro flirts with further spending packages in an attempt to avoid a drop in his poll prospects, and whether fears increase again that the spending cap will be undermined,” Commerzbank currency analyst Alexandra Bechtel said.
Sao Paulo’s Bovespa stock index .BVSP was flat as gains in commodity stocks were countered by a fall in shares of meat processors Marfrig MRFG3.SA and BRF BRFS3.SA. Marfrig bought a 24% stake in BRF, the world’s largest poultry exporter, for about $800 million, sources said.
Meanwhile on Friday, a closely followed JPMorgan survey showed investors this month made their biggest cut to “hard currency” emerging market sovereign bond positions in five years.
Chile’s peso CLP= fell to near two-month lows. Even though copper prices rose on Monday, tensions in Chile regarding the possible overhaul of its market-friendly constitution and a likely socialist leadership in Peru have weighed on copper prices. MET/L
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1358 GMT:
Daily % change
MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF
MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS
Brazil Bovespa .BVSP
Mexico IPC .MXX
Chile IPSA .SPIPSA
Colombia COLCAP .COLCAP
Daily % change
Brazil real BRBY
Mexico peso MXN=D2
Chile peso CLP=CL
Colombia peso COP=
Peru sol PEN=PE
(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Barbara Lewis)
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