RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Most Latin American
currencies gained on Thursday as hopes that the U.S. Federal
Reserve would delay unwinding its monetary stimulus fueled
appetite for risk assets in emerging markets.
But the Brazilian real was an exception. It weakened as the
country's central bank rolled over less than half the currency
swaps that expire early next month. The bank has been selling
those contracts to offer investors protection against a possible
weakening of the real.
Expectations that the Fed will keep the current pace of its
bond-buying program at least until the end of the year remained
elevated after data showed the number of Americans filing new
claims for unemployment benefits fell less than expected last
* The Mexican peso gained 0.2 percent to 12.9730 per
dollar, crossing its 30-day moving average of 12.9815.
* The peso had weakened earlier this week as investors
mostly priced in a 25-basis-point interest rate cut that should
take Mexico's benchmark rate to 3.5 percent on Friday.
* The Brazilian real weakened 0.6 percent to
nearly 2.2 per dollar, however, as the central bank rolled over
less than $3 billion of the $8.9 billion worth of currency swaps
that expire early next month.
* Brazil's central bank decision to roll over only part of
the expiring swaps came a few days after the real hit its
strongest level in four months. "The (partial) roll-over was a
way for the central bank to curb currency gains," said Reginaldo
Galhardo, a manager at the currency desk of Treviso brokerage in
Latin America FX prices at 1720 GMT:
Currencies Daily YTD pct
Brazil real 2.2000 -0.64 -7.27
Mexico peso 12.9730 0.21 -0.84
Chile peso 503.5000 0.32 -4.93
Colombia peso 1881.2000 0.07 -6.12
Peru sol 2.7580 0.25 -7.51
Argentina peso 5.8675 -0.04 -16.28
Argentina peso 10.0600 0.20 -32.60