(Updates prices, adds analyst comment) MEXICO CITY, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Mexican markets held steady on Tuesday, as investors awaited U.S. inflation data that could shine a light on the possible next steps of the Federal Reserve Bank's monetary policy and future appetite for emerging market assets.
In New York, Wall Street's three main indexes traded higher, reversing earlier losses even as investors focused on the release on Wednesday of data on U.S. consumer prices and retail sales.
A strong reading on the data could fan concerns of faster interest rate hikes. Higher interest rates would dampen interest in high-yield emerging market assets.
Mexico's IPC index edged up, lifted by shares in Mexican miner and infrastructure firm Grupo Mexico .
Shares in Mexican conglomerate Alfa, which competes in industries from food packaging to car parts to petrochemicals, were up 0.33 percent, the day after the company reported a narrower net loss in the fourth quarter.
Telecoms giant America Movil, which is controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, was set to report fourth-quarter earnings later on Tuesday. Its shares were up 0.07 percent in late afternoon trading.
Mexico's peso weakened 0.3 percent to 18.66 pesos per dollar.
"If prices (in the United States) rebound more than expected, this could provoke new declines in equity and spread to other assets considered to be risky, such as currencies from emerging markets," CI Banco said in a report to investors.
However, if the data shows less consumer price pressures than expected, emerging market currencies could post gains, the bank said.
The markets in Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, were closed for Carnival celebrations, as were Argentina's.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2024 GMT: Latin American market prices from Reuters Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1165.26 1.03 -0.44 MSCI LatAm 2965.50 0.15 4.7 Brazil Bovespa 80898.70 -0.78 5.89 Mexico IPC 47955.95 0.26 -2.83 Chile IPSA 5500.58 -1.02 -1.15 Chile IGPA 27782.93 -0.94 -0.71 Argentina MerVal 30143.44 -2.83 0.26 Colombia IGBC 11571.31 -0.43 1.76 Venezuela IBC 0.00 0 -100.00 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.2935 0.00 0.60 Mexico peso 18.6600 -0.30 5.57 Chile peso 597 0.13 2.96 Colombia peso 2904.2 -0.53 2.68 Peru sol 3.273 -0.15 -1.10 Argentina peso 19.9600 0.10 -6.81 (interbank) Argentina peso 20.18 -1.24 -4.71 (parallel) (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Diane Craft and Leslie Adler)