By Ambar Warrick
Nov 27 (Reuters) – Brazil’s real edged lower on Friday after a batch of mixed economic data, while most Latin American units were set for small weekly gains as positive developments for a coronavirus vaccine brightened the long-term outlook.
The real fell BRBY 0.2% to the dollar after Brazil’s unemployment rate rose to a record high in the three months to September.
But other figures showed loan defaults in the country fell to historic lows in October, indicating that the economy was recovering, thanks to steps by the central bank to loosen financial conditions.
Recent economic data has suggested improving trends in Latin America’s largest economy. But a spike in local coronavirus cases has raised concerns over disruptions to the fledgling recovery.
Brazilian stocks .BVSP rose 1%, and were set for a fourth week of gains as low global interest rates and improving risk appetite made equities an enticing prospect for returns.
Mexico’s peso MXN= fell slightly to the dollar, but hovered around eight-month highs as the country posted a large trade surplus in October.
The peso has outperformed its regional peers this year thanks to relatively stabler economic trends, as well as expectations of improving U.S. trade ties after Joe Biden’s presidential win.
Markets are also watching for possible interest rate action by the Mexican central bank, which had paused an easing cycle earlier in the month.
Minutes from the bank’s recent meeting showed members were divided over whether further easing was required.
“The Mexican economy suffers due to the corona pandemic and against this background a further easing of monetary policy would no doubt be justified,” You-Na Park-Heger, FX and EM analyst at Commerzbank, wrote in a note.
“On the other hand, consumer price inflation in Mexico has risen above 4% in Mexico over the past months.”
Mexican stocks .MXX fell 0.8%, and were set for mild weekly gains.
Argentine stocks .MERV were set to outperform their peers for the week with a more than 6% gain, as the country marked progress in restructuring debt arrangements with the International Monetary Fund.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
Daily % change
MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF
MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS
Brazil Bovespa .BVSP
Mexico IPC .MXX
Chile IPSA .SPIPSA
Argentina MerVal .MERV
Colombia COLCAP .COLCAP
Daily % change
Brazil real BRBY
Mexico peso MXN=D2
Chile peso CLP=CL
Colombia peso COP=
Peru sol PEN=PE
Argentina peso (interbank) ARS=RASL
(Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang)
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