EMERGING MARKETS-Strong U.S. data drags Latam currencies lower

Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Brazil's real led Latin

American currencies down on Thursday after

stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data fanned fears of a

near-term tapering of Federal Reserve stimulus.

The real slipped past the 2.30 per dollar level for the

first time in two months after data showed U.S. growth

accelerated in the third quarter, marking its fastest pace of

expansion in a year, as businesses restocked

shelves.

The Fed has said it will begin to roll back its $85 billion

in monthly bond buying purchases, which has juiced investor

appetite for emerging market assets, if the U.S. economy picks

up.

Currencies had strengthened earlier in the day after the

European Central Bank cut interest rates to a record low of 0.25

percent and said it could take them lower still to prevent the

euro zone's recovery from stalling.

Markets are likely to remain cautious before the release of

Friday's U.S. non-farm payroll report, which will be key to

determine the future of the Fed's stimulus program.

"We've been following U.S. data over the past few days and

maybe Friday will be the most important day, with the jobs data

providing some clarity about the timing of Fed tapering," said

Glauber Romano, a trader with Intercam brokerage in Sao Paulo.

* The Brazilian real weakened more than 1

percent to 2.306 per dollar, its weakest level since early

September. The currency is down more than 11 percent this year.

* The Mexican peso fell 0.37 percent to 13.2305 per

dollar, its lowest level since early October. But the currency

is down less than 3 percent this year and is set to easily

outperform the real over the next 12 months as investors remain

optimistic about prospects for reforms in the long term, a

Reuters poll showed.

* Mexico's president has been pushing a host of reforms

through Congress designed to beef up growth, from a bid to boost

the country's weak tax take to measures to increase production

at state oil giant Pemex.

Latin America FX prices at 2050 GMT:

Currencies Daily pct YTD pct

change change

Latest

Brazil real 2.306 -1.04 -11.54

Mexico peso 13.2305 -0.37 -2.75

Chile peso 517.2000 -0.41 -7.44

Colombia peso 1,928.6500 -0.54 -8.43

Peru sol 2.7900 0.00 -8.57

Argentina peso (interbank) 5.9425 0.21 -17.33

Argentina peso (parallel) 9.7500 0.82 -30.46

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