As the US dollar attempts comeback, most Latin American currencies slip

A picture illustration shows Mexican pesos and U.S. dollars. PHOTO: REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Most Latin American currencies weakened on Monday with Chile’s peso breaking a six-day winning streak as the dollar regained momentum, while Mexico’s peso outperformed.

The dollar lifted off one-month lows as weak data from around the globe last week spurred worries about slowing global growth.

The greenback had taken a hit on Friday when a sharp fall in U.S. jobs growth kept risk appetite buoyed on reduced bets that the Federal Reserve will rush to taper stimulus measures. “Recent U.S. data points to some moderation in growth rebound momentum and this reinforces our bias for Fed to be patient in its pace of policy normalization,” said currency strategists at Maybank. “But global growth concerns could still induce some intermittent buy-on-dips for dollar.”

Chile’s peso fell 0.5% after gaining 2.7% over the last six sessions. Minera Lumina Copper said it had reached a deal with workers at its Caserones mine in Chile, ending an almost month-long strike. Prices of copper, Chile’s biggest export, fell.

Brazil’s real fell 0.2% after ending last week up by the same measure. Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said on Friday that inflation had reached its worst point, with 12-month inflation currently near 9%, and that he expected it to gradually fall to near 7% by year’s end. Interest rate hikes by the central bank to control inflation had helped the currency find some support amid rising political uncertainty in the country this year. With Monday’s losses, the real moved marginally into the red for the year.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s peso rose 0.2%, extending gains to a seventh straight session, staying close to three-week highs. Carry trade, where investors borrow in a low-yielding currency to invest in higher-yielding assets, has helped the currency stay afloat and often times outperform regional peers this year. The peso is the only Latam currency in positive territory for the year, albeit marginally.

Data on Monday showed Mexican gross fixed investment fell 1.8% in June from the previous month. 

Source: Yahoo Finance

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