data@ SAO PAULO, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies fell on Friday as stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs figures bolstered the case for a third U.S. interest rate hike this year, spurring demand for dollars. U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 209,000 jobs last month, above analyst expectations, while June's report was revised to show a bigger gain than previously reported. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent after gaining 0.2 percent in June.
The positive numbers followed mixed U.S. economic figures that had cast doubt over the likelihood the Federal Reserve would raise rates once more this year and three times next year. Higher U.S. rates could drain capital from emerging markets, weighing on the value of their currencies. The job and average hourly earnings numbers could clear the way for the Fed to announce a plan to start shrinking its $4.5 trillion bond portfolio in September, a key step in its plan to unravel monetary stimulus. Still, some traders refrained from making big bets on U.S. monetary policy in the lack of clear signs of accelerating inflation. "Despite the jobs growth, the fall in the unemployment and underemployment rates, wage pressure is modest at best," analysts at Brown Brothers Harriman wrote in a note to clients. Currencies from Brazil, Mexico and Chile slipped between 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent. The Colombian peso led losses as traders edged toward the safety of the U.S. dollar ahead of a national holiday on Monday. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index seesawed, reacting to a heavy batch of corporate updates. Shares of petrochemical firm Braskem SA ranked among the biggest gainers after newspapers reported that its controlling shareholders were considering moving to a U.S. headquarters.
Shares of loyalty program Smiles SA rose 2.5 percent after the company reported a 18.3 percent increase in second-quarter net profit. Meanwhile, shares of meatpacker BRF SA fell 2 percent as traders booked profits after a three-day stretch of gains.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1720 GMT:
Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct
MSCI Emerging Markets 1,066.54 0.23 23.4 Brazil Bovespa 66,849.37 0.11 11.00 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC 51,366.40 0.14 12.54 Chile IPSA 5,091.96 0.34 22.66 Chile IGPA 25,422.24 0.35 22.61 Argentina MerVal 21,801.68 0.1 28.87 Colombia IGBC 10,932.68 -0.03 7.94 Venezuela IBC 176,451.95 12.11 456.54 Currencies daily % YTD %
change change Latest
Brazil real 3.1208 -0.25 4.11 Mexico peso 17.8705 -0.14 16.08 Chile peso 649.9 -0.26 3.20 Colombia peso 2,983.8 -1.00 0.59 Peru sol 3.243 -0.12 5.27 Argentina peso (interbank) 17.6800 -0.06 -10.21 Argentina peso (parallel) 18.11 0.39 -7.12
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Tom Brown)