Markets in Latin America close with gains as fears of omicron impact on economy subsides

December 23, 2021

By Nelson Bocanegra

BOGOTÁ, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Most Latin American markets closed in positive territory on Thursday, as fears about the economic impact of the omicron variant of the coronavirus fade, prompting traders to liquidate positions in dollars to move to risk assets.

* However, the Brazilian markets moved away from the trend, with the real depreciating by 0.3% although cutting a large part of the initial losses, amid two interventions by the Central Bank with sales of the US currency; while the Bovespa equity index fell 0.34% towards the close of the session.

* The other markets also benefited from the rebound in oil prices, an important generator of foreign exchange for some countries in the region.

* “Emerging markets post gains as traders take comfort in signals that the omicron virus variant poses less of a threat to global growth than originally feared,” said a report by the chief economist at the stock brokerage. and Values, Wilson Tovar.

* The Chilean peso rose 0.93% to 859.50 / 859.80 units per dollar and continued its recovery after the sharp drop on Monday when it recorded its lowest closing value in history after Sunday’s election in that the candidate of the left, Gabriel Boric, swept away.

* The IPSA index of the Santiago Stock Exchange, rose 2.9%, to 4,241.63 units, also continuing its recovery after the collapse suffered on Monday.

* Meanwhile, the Peruvian sol reached its highest gain in two months, advancing 0.82%, to 4.0000 / 4.0025 units per dollar, after an increase in the local supply of dollars, according to operators. While the benchmark of the Lima Stock Exchange added 0.22%, to 546.6 points.

* The Mexican peso appreciated 0.31% to 20.6301 units per dollar and the benchmark S & P / BMV IPC stock index added 0.47%.

* The Colombian peso ended stable against the previous session, at 4,000 units per dollar, while the benchmark index of the stock market, the MSCI COLCAP lost 0.03% to 1,394.14 points.

* In Argentina, the peso in the wholesale market closed with a slight fall of 0.03%, to 102.30 / 102.31 per dollar, with central bank liquidity regulation.

* On the stock market, the Merval index gained 1.43%, to a close of 84,850.31 units, due to taking positions before the holiday before Christmas and a day after the country paid some 1,900 million dollars to the Monetary Fund International (IMF) for a millionaire debt in the middle of restructuring negotiations.

* The stock market indicator accumulated a rise of 1.94% in the week.

(Report by Nelson Bocanegra, additional report by Walter Bianchi in Buenos Aires, Froilán Romero and Benjamin Mejias in Santiago, Edited by Manuel Farías)