Latin American stocks rose on Tuesday, outperforming world stocks that struggled to hold gains ahead of keenly awaited U.S.-Sino trade talks, earnings of top technology companies and an impending U.S. Federal Reserve decision on interest rates.
Latin American currencies failed to gain against a weak dollar on Tuesday, as cautious investors pared exposure ahead of the end of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day meeting on Wednesday, while Latin American stocks ticked up in line with their U.S. peers.
United States share markets suffered on Wednesday their sharpest one-day falls in months, as fears about rising interest rates, inflation, trade tensions intensified. The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the declines, sliding 4%, or 315.9 points, to 7,422. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 also fell by more than 3%, with losses accelerating towards the end of the day. Netflix fell 8%, while Amazon slid 6%.
Argentina’s Peso fell on Thursday, pressured by the recession-hit country’s dismal inflation outlook and higher U.S. interest rates that have pushed capital away from riskier emerging markets and toward the greenback, local traders said. The peso shed 1.85% to close at 38.4 per dollar after having gained 9.58% over the previous three days under a freshly-renegotiated International Monetary Fund financing deal that calls for tougher fiscal and monetary policy measures.
The Brazilian currency dipped under four Real to the dollar for the first time in five weeks at close on Thursday as the markets reacted favorably to the emergence of two clear presidential election frontrunners. The Real closed at 3.99 to the US dollar just two weeks after hitting a record low of almost 4.2 to the dollar -- it's lost around 17% since the start of the year.
The United States Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday, after a two-day policy meeting, that it would raise interest rates for the third time this year. The decision, which had been widely expected, raised the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, to a range of 2% to 2.25%.
United States Federal Reserve officials discussed raising interest rates soon to counter excessive economic strength but also examined how global trade disputes could batter businesses and households, minutes of the U.S. central bank’s last policy meeting showed.
Most emerging market currencies worldwide rallied on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the head of the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, while Brazil's Real fell to its lowest in more than two years on political concerns.
The US Federal Reserve raised the benchmark lending rate on Wednesday, the second increase of the year, and signaled it will be more aggressive about rate increases this year and next amid “strong” economic growth. The unanimous vote brings the federal funds rate to a range of 1.75 to 2%, but the quarterly economic forecasts show central bankers now expect the rate to end the year at 2.4% rather than the 2.1% projected in March.
Brazil's inflation rate unexpectedly slowed in April and kept far below the official target, suggesting a recent period of currency weakness is unlikely to keep the central bank from cutting interest rates next week.