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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies rise as bonds stabilize, commodity prices rise

Susan Mathew
·2 min read
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By Susan Mathew March 1 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies firmed on Monday, in line with broader emerging market peers, as yields on U.S. Treasuries calmed after a sharp climb last week, while rising commodity prices also lifted assets in the resource-rich region. Higher oil prices buoyed currencies of crude exporters Mexico and Colombia, which rose 0.8% and 0.3% respectively, while top copper producer Chile saw the peso recover from the more than two week lows hit last session. Brazil's real rose 0.5% against a stronger dollar. A survey on Monday showed the pace of expansion in the country's manufacturing sector picked up again in February after three months of deceleration. Risk assets were hammered last week when U.S. Treasury yields trended higher, but as yields stabilized on Monday, emerging market assets regained some traction. "MXN bonds were the most sensitive during the 2013 & 2016 yields spikes and will likely be hit relatively more as U.S. yields rise," said strategists at TD securities. "Singapore, Polish and South African government bonds are likely to come under strong pressure should UST yields push higher," they said, while Hungarian, Malaysian and Indian bond markets are expected to be least impacted. Optimism on Monday also stemmed from the U.S. House passing President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion package, sending it to the Senate, while the rollout of Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine also added to the cheer about an economic recovery. Among stocks, Brazilian insurer and hospital operator Hapvida Participacoes e Investimentos jumped 8.2% after it revealed terms of its acquisition by competitor Notre Dame Intermedica Participacoes, a deal which would create the country's largest hospital chain. Intermedica shares were also up 8%. Shares of oil firm Petrobras rose after it hiked diesel and gasoline prices. The company's disagreement over fuel pricing saw its Chief executive ousted last week by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, causing its shares to plunge 22%. It has since recovered about 5% of those losses. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1412 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1356.16 1.26 MSCI LatAm 2233.39 0.87 Brazil Bovespa 110990.60 0.87 Mexico IPC - - Chile IPSA 4621.35 1.05 Argentina MerVal - - Colombia COLCAP - - Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.5718 0.52 Mexico peso 20.6618 0.91 Chile peso 721.8 0.29 Colombia peso 3634.36 0.28 Peru sol 3.6477 0.00 Argentina peso 90.0800 -0.28 (interbank) (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)