EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm markets, currencies up on weaker U.S....



EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm markets, currencies up on weaker U.S....



Markets and currencies across Latin America gained on Wednesday, as the U.S. dollar weakened and oil prices rose. However, markets in the region's biggest economy, Brazil, remained closed for the third day due to Carnival celebrations. Shares of Mexico's America Movil, controlled by the family of billionaire Carlos Slim, were up 4.26 percent after reporting fourth-quarter earnings after market-close on Tuesday. Investors in Latin America's largest telecommunications firm, the company with the biggest market capitalization on the Mexico's main index, focused on 13 percent growth in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), overlooking the quarterly loss. Shares of Mexican cement maker Cemex were also up, gaining 2.61 percent. The Mexican currency also firmed, up 0.48 percent in a day of volatile trading to reach 18.56 pesos per U.S. dollar. The peso's gains were, in part, due to comments by Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo indicating the government is willing to have the NAFTA trade pact periodically revised, according to analysts at Banco BASE. In Argentina, drought in the heart of the country's Pampas grains belt is likely to persist through the second half of February, further reducing yields of soy and corn in the 2017-18 season, climate experts said on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Argentine central bank held its benchmark seven-day interbank lending rate at 27.25 percent on Wednesday, the monetary authority said in a statement, amid an increase in inflation expectations and "mixed signals" in prices so far this year. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2145 GMT: Stock indexes Latest daily % change YTD % change MSCI Emerging 1185.33 1.79 2.32 Markets MSCI LatAm 3063.02 3.3 8.3 Brazil Bovespa 83542.84 3.27 9.35 Mexico IPC 48400.75 0.99 -1.93 Chile IPSA 5560.38 1.09 -0.08 Chile IGPA 28025.03 0.87 0.16 Argentina MerVal 31551.31 4.67 4.94 Colombia IGBC 11732.34 1.43 3.18 Venezuela IBC 3933.34 0.79 211.39 Currencies daily % change YTD % change Latest Brazil real 3.2168 0.29 3.00 Mexico peso 18.5765 0.40 6.04 Chile peso 594.9 0.35 3.32 Colombia peso 2866.65 1.21 4.02 Peru sol 3.261 0.37 -0.74 Argentina peso 19.8850 0.48 -6.46 (interbank) Argentina peso 19.91 1.61 -3.42 (parallel) (Reporting by Skeky Espejo and David Alire Garcia; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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