EMERGING MARKETS-Currencies set to break seven-day winning streak; Chile’s peso outperforms

PUBLISHED: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 15:08:11 GMT

* Rising copper prices lift Chile’s peso * Citi books profit in South African rand * Real, rand, Chilean peso most undervalued EM FX – Deutsche * Oil prices dip; Mexican peso drops more than 1% By Susan Mathew Feb 16 (Reuters) – Emerging market currencies looked set to break a seven-day advance on Tuesday as the dollar showed signs of stabilising, while Chile’s peso firmed as copper prices hit nine-year highs. The dollar moved marginally into positive territory and away from three-week lows, hitting emerging market currencies across the board. MSCI’s index of EM currencies lost 0.3%, and was on course to end its longest rally since August. Erasing session gains, South Africa’s rand fell from one-year highs, down 1%, while Turkey’s lira slipped from a six-month peak. Citigroup Inc said it was booking a profit in its three-month bet on the South African rand versus the U.S. dollar. “There is a point at which the underlying very weak growth trend and its fiscal implications could start impacting the ZAR in a negative way,” they said in a note. Oil prices edged away from recent highs, hitting currencies of crude exporting countries, with Russia’s rouble ending a nine-session winning run, while Mexico’s peso dropped 1.2%, set for its worst day in two weeks. The Colombian peso gave up 0.8%, retreating from more than three-week highs. Markets in Brazil and Argentina were closed for local holidays. “Brazilian real, South African rand and the Chilean peso are the three most undervalued EM currencies on an aggregate basis … highlighting that markets have yet to price reflation across EM commodity exporters,” said Deutsche Bank strategists in a note. Meanwhile, Chile’s peso firmed as much as 0.8%, extending a rally to a third straight session, as prices of the country’s main export revenue generator, copper, were boosted by optimism about a global economic recovery. Stocks in the region tracked a higher open on Wall Street, with vaccine optimism also playing a part. Colombia will begin COVID-19 vaccinations on Wednesday, while Mexico on Monday began the task of vaccinating millions of senior citizens. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1442.24 0.31 MSCI LatAm 2420.49 0.19 Mexico IPC – – Chile IPSA 4664.72 0.97 Colombia COLCAP 1374.29 0.36 Currencies Latest Daily % change Mexico peso 20.2260 -1.36 Chile peso 718.5 0.08 Colombia peso 3516.2 -0.77 Peru sol 3.6497 -0.16 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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