Latin American currencies ended on a high note on Friday against a weaker dollar after robust U.S. jobs data painted a brighter picture for global growth and gave the U.S. central bank more reason to stay on its dovish path.
Argentina lived on Thursday another day in which the dollar rebounded and the country risk exceeded 1000 points. President Mauricio Macri criticized the short-term view of the markets and the Central Bank (BCRA) had to intervene by positioning the interest rate at 70% and diverting the futures market to contain the demand on the currency, preventing it from reaching the maximum accorded of 51.45 pesos.
Emerging markets face more downgrades than upgrades this year as foreign debt levels leave them vulnerable to rising U.S. interest rates and the strength of the dollar, according to Fitch Ratings. Latin America, the Middle East and Africa will be impacted more by lower credit scores because of the high share of their foreign-currency debt, said James McCormack, Hong Kong-based global head of the sovereign and supranational group at Fitch.
Venezuelan authorities on Monday approved a new, privately run foreign exchange system that will operate in parallel to the official currency control system, as an emboldened opposition challenges President de facto Nicolás Maduro.
Argentina’s economy contracted 6.7% in June compared with the same month last year, and 1.3% compared with May, government statistics agency Indec said on Thursday. June was the third consecutive month of decline following 5.2% in May and 0.6% in April.
The Brazilian currency Real fell to a 31-month low versus the U.S. dollar on Thursday on jitters ahead of the country’s October election. Jitters across emerging markets caused by a stronger U.S. dollar and exacerbated by the unfolding currency crisis in Turkey already took a toll on the Brazilian unit before this week.
Argentina’s peso currency closed down 3.11% on Wednesday at an all-time low of 21.2 per U.S. dollar, even as the central bank continued selling dollars to try to halt the slide of the local currency, traders said. The currency’s sustained weakening showed a lack of investor confidence in Latin America’s third largest economy, which is blighted by one of the world’s highest inflation rates.
Sterling fell against the dollar and euro on Monday as investors worried about Theresa May's ability to stay on as British prime minister and get what they consider to be a good exit deal from the European Union.
Venezuela will create a new exchange rate for tourists to buy up to US$10,000 of the local Bolivar currency per year in a measure intended to help reduce black market trading, the government said in its official gazette.
Uruguay is too expensive in dollar terms and needs to adapt quickly because the adjustment will come anyway ‘and will be painful’ unless inflation is brought under control and costs equilibrium is reached with Brazil with a competitive dollar at 25 Pesos.