EMERGING MARKETS-Resource-rich Latam markets hit by falling commodity prices

* Colombian peso hits over one year low * Mexican cenbank expected to hike by 25bps on Thursday * Petrobras hit by falling oil prices, Vale tracks iron ore lower (Adds comments, updates prices throughout) By Susan Mathew and Shreyashi Sanyal Aug 9 (Reuters) – Most Latin American currencies fell on Monday as fears of slowing global growth and rising cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus hit commodity prices, with Colombia’s peso hitting its lowest level in over one year. Oil prices were hit by curbs to combat the spread of the virus in China, sending crude prices 3% lower. There was a knock-on effect to exporter Colombia’s peso, which fell 0.7% to its lowest since early June 2020. The Chilean peso slid as much as 1%, before turning positive by afternoon trading, as copper prices slipped on rising risks of a strike at the country’s Escondida copper mine – the world’s largest – as well as worries about demand from biggest consumer China as it lays down more COVID-19 curbs. The currency has fallen about 6% since mid-July when the central bank struck a dovish tone after hiking the key interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.75%. However, Credit Suisse analysts expect Chile’s interest rate to rise to 1.5% by the end of the year and 3.0% by the end of 2022. The central bank’s next meeting is scheduled for the end of the month. Analysts at J.P. Morgan said the Delta variant remains the most immediate threat to the growth outlook for emerging markets, which are expected to see a rebound in the third quarter. Although, the bank said overall impact of the Delta wave on economic activity is likely to be more limited than earlier waves. Mexico’s peso was little changed after data showed annual inflation slowed to the lowest level in four months in July at 5.81%, but still slightly overshot expectations to remain well above the central bank’s target rate, spurring bets that the benchmark interest rate could be hiked for the second meeting in a row. A Reuters poll reflected expectations the interest rate would be hiked by 25 basis points to 4.50% on Thursday. Brazil’s real edged 0.2% higher. Political headwinds ahead of general elections next year, sliding iron ore prices and COVID-19 cases now over 20 million have hurt the real recently. As his popularity tumbles, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro ignored calls to drop his feud with the Supreme Court on Friday amid rising tensions over his unfounded claims the nation’s voting system is vulnerable to fraud. MSCI’s index of Latin American stocks slipped 0.4% as Brazilian heavy-weights Petrobras and iron ore miner Vale slipped, tracking oil and iron ore prices, respectively. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1835 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1294.97 0.19 MSCI LatAm 2500.13 0.34 Brazil Bovespa 123298.76 0.4 Mexico IPC 50934.20 -0.35 Chile IPSA 4252.32 -0.7 Argentina MerVal 66160.21 0.454 Colombia COLCAP 1230.33 0.3 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.2259 0.15 Mexico peso 20.0499 -0.13 Chile peso 784.5 0.38 Colombia peso 3993.35 -0.76 Peru sol 4.1088 -0.64 Argentina peso (interbank) 96.9900 -0.08 Argentina peso (parallel) 176 1.42 (Reporting by Susan Mathew and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Marguerita Choy)


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