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Currencies cheer slowing US inflation; Brazil's real bucks trend

  • Chile's peso jumps 1% as Escondida workers, BHP real temp deal
  • Brazil's real fall on economic data, political noise
  • Brazilian fuel distributors slip on likely rising competition
Published August 11, 2021
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Most emerging market currencies rose on Wednesday after data showed slower US inflation, which assuaged fears monetary stimulus would taper and sent the dollar diving.

Chile's peso jumped 1%, bolstered by the worker union at the Escondida mine and its operator BHP reaching a tentative deal for a new contract.

This eased fears that the union will call a strike at the world's biggest copper mine and reduce production of Chile's largest export item.

South Africa's rand also jumped 1%, breaking a five-day losing streak, after having lost up to 0.7% earlier in the day. Oil exporter Russia's rouble pulled away from two-week lows, while the currencies of Mexico and Colombia firmed around 0.6% and 0.2% respectively.

The dollar index retreated from a more than four-month high after data showed US inflation remained historically high, but the increase slowed in July, in line with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's stance that rising inflation is transitory.

Latam FX falls, energy reform fears trip up Mexico's peso

"While the market may view this as relief on the inflation front, it's not likely to really shift the balance of risk for the dollar beyond intra-day noise," strategists at TD Securities said.

Peru's sol was little changed with investors awaiting a meeting between the newly-elected administration and central bank chief Julio Velarde regarding the likely extension of his term.

Brazil's real bucked the trend, down 0.5%, as the country's retail sales volumes fell 1.7% in June from May, data showed, missing expectations for a rise. Political tensions, better fundamentals and a hawkish central bank have helped the currency to cut a chunk of its yearly losses.

Brazil's lower house of Congress voted down a plan by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro to alter the country's voting system on Tuesday.

Bolsonaro's popularity has plunged with citizens disillusioned by corruption charges against the leader and his handling of the pandemic.

Shares in the country fell 0.9%, led by a near 9% slide in health care company Qualicorp after its second quarter profit fell 28.4%.

Fuel distributors Petrobras Distribuidora, Ultrapar Participacoes and Cosan slipped between 1.6% and 3.8% after Bolsonaro signed a decree allowing producers and importers of ethanol to directly sell the biofuel to gas stations, increasing competition.

Main stock indexes in most other Latam markets rose.

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