Colombian peso jumps, Mexico's peso edges up on rate hike bets
* MSCI Latam stocks rise 2%, currencies up 0.8%
* Chilean peso gains as copper prices climb
By Anisha Sircar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar
May 16 (Reuters) - The Colombian peso rose on Monday following a rise in prices of oil and positive economic data, while Mexico's peso inched higher after central bankers hinted at more interest rate hikes to control inflation.
MSCI's index of Latam currencies .MILA00000CUS rose 0.8% as the dollar index =USD consolidated gains near a 20-year peak hit last week. Stocks .MILA00000PUS rose 2%.
Colombia's peso COP= added 1.4%, clocking its best day in more than two months after data showed its economy grew 8.5% in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the year-earlier period.
The currency of the oil exporter also got a lift from rising crude prices.
Mexico's peso MXN= gained 0.4% against the dollar.
Mexican central bank Governor Victoria Rodríguez said in an interview Link published on news platform El Financiero over the weekend that the bank was ready to hike its monetary policy rate faster, if necessary.
On Friday, Bank of Mexico board member Jonathan Heath said there is still a "way to go" on tightening policy following the bank's 50-basis-point rate hike to 7.0% last week.
"Latin American currencies seem better for emerging market investors and definitely places like Brazil, with people thinking they might be closer to the end of their tightening cycles versus some other countries that have a lot more to come," said Rachel Ziemba, founder of Ziemba Insights.
A flight of capital from Asian markets due to recent dour macroeconomic data from China, as well as outflows from Europe, are boosting Latam assets, Ziemba added.
Brazil's real BRL= BRBY advanced 0.4% before trimming its gains after central bank figures showed government debt as a share of gross domestic product fell to 78.5% in March from 79.2% in February.
Chile's peso CLP= rose 0.3% as copper prices firmed after China's plans to ease COVID-19 curbs raised demand hopes. A constitutional assembly in Chile, the world's top producer of copper, on Saturday rejected a major overhaul to mining rights.
Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras SA PETR3.SA and metal and mining company Vale SA VALE3.SA climbed 3% each, tracking firm commodity prices and lifting Brazil's Bovespa .BVSP by 0.8%.
Peru's sol PEN= was little changed after official figures showed the economy grew 3.79% in March compared with a year earlier, lower than the central bank's 4% forecast, with the mining industry shrinking as social conflicts hit production.
Elsewhere, the Russian rouble RUBUTSTN=MCX EURRUBTN=MCX strengthened past 64 to the dollar and to its highest level in nearly five years against the euro, supported by restrictions on currency trading.
Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2009 GMT:
Latest Daily %
change MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF
0.32 MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS
2.05 Brazil Bovespa
1.28 Mexico IPC
2.01 Chile IPSA
0.36 Argentina MerVal
1.282 Colombia COLCAP
Latest Daily %
change Brazil real
-0.06 Mexico peso
0.30 Chile peso
0.39 Colombia peso COP=
1.37 Peru sol
0.48 Argentina peso (interbank)
Argentina peso (parallel) ARSB=
Reporting by Anisha Sircar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao and Grant McCool
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