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EMERGING MARKETS-Mexican peso up on data, Colombia's flat after hold on rates

Shreyashi Sanyal
·3 min read

* Latam FX index set for worst week in over one month * Colombian central bank holds benchmark rate steady * Brazil's real rises after central bank FX intervention (Updates prices throughout; adds bullets, comments) By Shreyashi Sanyal Oct 30 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso rose on Friday, set to end a tumultuous week on a positive note after data signaled a strong economic rebound, while the Colombian currency traded in a tight range after the country's central bank kept interest rates unchanged. The peso rose 0.7% against the dollar after preliminary data showed Mexico's economy grew 12.0% in the third quarter, making up for much of the contraction in the previous three months at the height of the coronavirus lockdown. U.S. demand helped Mexico rack up large trade surpluses during the past four months, as exports picked up speed. By contrast, domestic demand has lagged, with many businesses still struggling. A gauge for Latin American currencies rose 0.5%, gaining after three straight days of declines, but was still set for its worst weekly fall in over a month. Most emerging market currencies have come under pressure from a strengthening dollar in the face of rising coronavirus cases and uncertainty over the outcome of next week's U.S. presidential election. Colombia's peso was flat after the central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.75% as expected, the first hold after seven months of cuts that took borrowing costs to a historic low. Mexico's and Colombia's pesos have been pressured recently by a slide in oil prices. The Brazilian real rose 0.3%, after the country's central bank intervened in the foreign exchange market on Friday, selling dollars to ease heavy downward pressure on the currency that had pushed it closer to its all-time low against the dollar struck earlier this year. Brazil's real shed 2.2% this week, the most among its Latin American peers on general risk aversion and worries about the countries public finances. "There are idiosyncratic factors that make BRL more susceptible than other EM currencies," wrote You-Na Park-Heger FX and emerging market analyst at Commerzbank. "First of all, there is the high budget deficit and the lack of progress with the fiscal reforms. And secondly the historically low key rates are also putting pressure on BRL." The Chilean peso was flat against the dollar. Chile's central bank unanimously opted to keep interest rates at a baseline low this month, agreeing that while the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic was "now behind us" there were fresh risks in the medium term, according to minutes released on Friday. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1900 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1102.12 -1.61 MSCI LatAm 1808.01 -1.37 Brazil Bovespa 94028.08 -2.64 Mexico IPC 36866.06 0.18 Chile IPSA 3549.27 -0.93 Argentina MerVal 44988.08 0.164 Colombia COLCAP 1146.00 1.3 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.7462 0.29 Mexico peso 21.2480 0.65 Chile peso 773.5 -0.12 Colombia peso 3868.85 -0.24 Peru sol 3.6148 -0.11 Argentina peso (interbank) 78.3200 -0.03 Argentina peso (parallel) 165 6.06 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Tom Brown)