Latin American currencies fall due to tension over Russia; Chilean peso overlaps

Illustrative file image of Mexican peso bills taken on August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/Illustration/File

By Nelson Bocanegra

BOGOTÁ, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Latin American currencies closed lower on Monday in the last session of the month due to growing uncertainty after a new wave of Western sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, which maintained aversion to the risk.

* The exception was the Chilean peso, which rose 0.92% to 796.20/796.50 per dollar, taking advantage of a slight advance in the price of copper, the country’s main export.

* Meanwhile, the leading index of the Santiago Stock Exchange closed with a rise of 1.54% to 4,534.47 points.

* The West tried to block Russia with a series of measures, such as closing the airspace to Russian planes, excluding some Russian banks from the SWIFT global financial network, and limiting Moscow’s ability to deploy its foreign reserves of 630,000 million dollars.

* Earlier, other announcements, such as that of the energy giant BP, the multinational bank HSBC and the world’s largest aircraft leasing company, AerCap, were added to the growing list of Western companies that intend to leave Russia.

* Meanwhile, Russian artillery shelled residential districts of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, possibly killing dozens of people, Ukrainian officials said, as invading Moscow forces met stiff Ukrainian resistance on the fifth day of the conflict.

* “The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, added to the sanctions imposed on the former by the international community, have caused a new episode of risk aversion in the markets, punishing emerging currencies and stock indices,” indicated a note from Banco de Bogotá.

* The Mexican peso depreciated 0.79%, while the main stock index S&P/BMV IPC, which includes the 35 most liquid companies in the Mexican market, changed its trend and rose 1.31%.

* “The concern now is to know the true scope that the war in Ukraine and, especially, the sanctions imposed on Russia, are going to have on Western economies,” said CI Banco in Mexico.

* The Peruvian currency, the sol, lost 1.19% to 3.780/3.782 units per dollar. In February, the currency lost 1.61%. Meanwhile, the benchmark of the Lima Stock Exchange fell 0.86% to 623.44 points.

* The Colombian peso erased initial gains and ended with a drop of 0.60% to 3,937 units per dollar, although in the month it accumulated an appreciation of 1.81%; while in the stock market, the benchmark MSCI COLCAP index rose 0.27% to 1,520.26 points.

* The markets of Brazil and Argentina will remain closed for carnival holidays on Monday and Tuesday.

Quotes at 2115 GMT

Price Var pct Var pct

daily indices in the

shareholders year

MSCI Markets

emerging 1,171.99 1.48 -4.99

MSCI America

Latin 2,375.63 2.02 13.43

Bovespa Brazil




CPI Mexico

53,557.78 1.91 0.54

Argentina MerVal



COLCAP Colombia

1,527.75 0.76 8.35

IPSA Chile

4,534.47 1.54 5.26

Selective Peru

627.96 -0.14 22.56

Price Var pct Var pct

Dollar vs. monthly in the

year coins

Brazilian real

5.1599 2.80 7.98

Mexican peso

20.4480 0.90 0.22

Chilean peso

798.4 0.08 6.57

Colombian peso

3,933.01 0.32 +3.38

peruvian sol

3.7730 1.66 +5.20

Argentine peso

107.33 -2.27 -4.43

(Report by Nelson Bocanegra, additional report by Froilán Romero and Vicente Valdivia in Santiago)

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