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Mexico’s peso dips on Pemex plan; Latam stocks rise

By Agamoni Ghosh July 16 (Reuters) – Latin American currencies were lower on Tuesday against a strong dollar, with Mexico’s peso leading losses as investors tried to assess a new plan unveiled by the government for debt-laden oil firm Pemex, while equities in the region moved higher. The Mexican government will recapitalize Pemex and reduce its tax burden to help build a new refinery and raise production from onshore and shallow water fields, said Chief Executive Octavio Romero. Scanty details on how the government’s new plan would help Pemex failed to excite markets, however, with the peso shedding 0.4%. Analysts have been concerned in the past over how the oil firm, which is the world’s most indebted company, can be rescued without foreign investment – a proposition that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has opposed. “Pemex’s situation is quite similar to what South Africa is seeing with regard to Eskom. In terms of the sovereign, its(government-backed recapitalization) definitely a negative,” said Win Thin, global head of emerging market currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman. Pemex’s credit was downgraded to junk by Fitch this year, while Moody’s and S&P have the it on negative outwatch. Other currencies in the region, including Chile’sand Colombia’s peso, slid as the dollar gained on the back of strong U.S. economic data. Brazil’s real outperformed as optimism over the pension reform continued to boost sentiment. Stocks on the Bovespa moved 0.5% higher, led by gains in energy and financial companies. Intense discussion over amendments to the pension reform bill, a key to bringing the economy back on track, delayed the second round of voting to August. Markets however, have been mostly positive, viewing last week’s vote of approval in the lower house as a first successful step to getting the reform passed and helping restore confidence in Brazil’s economy. Stock indices in Chile and Colombia moved higher between 0.2% and 0.4%, but Mexico’s IPC index fell marginally. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1440 GMT Stock indexes daily % Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 1060.69 0.28 MSCI LatAm 2942.99 0.04 Brazil Bovespa 104337.95 0.52 Mexico IPC 42968.60 -0.22 Chile IPSA 5076.43 0.16 Argentina MerVal 42156.01 2.18 Colombia IGBC 13055.86 0.21 Currencies daily % change Latest Brazil real 3.7607 -0.15 Mexico peso 19.0455 -0.39 Chile peso 680.5 0.00 Colombia peso 3200.52 -0.46 Peru sol 3.285 -0.06 Argentina peso 42.6500 -0.35 (interbank) (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)


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