SAO PAULO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies seesawed on Thursday as a U.S. holiday curbed trading volumes, while traders avoided risky bets due to escalating geopolitical tensions around North Korea. North Korea said it tested an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile on Sunday and showed signs of planning more missile tests, triggering strong backlash. The United States said countries trading with North Korea were aiding its "dangerous nuclear intentions" as the United Nations Security Council mulled tough new sanctions. The reports drove risk-aversion throughout the world, with the U.S. dollar slipping against major safe-haven currencies, such as the Swiss Franc and the Japanese Yen. Still, market moves were somewhat limited in Latin America as many traders were away from their desks due to the U.S. Labor Day holiday. "Without Wall Street as a reference, moves tend to be weaker due to lower liquidity," analysts at Advanced brokerage wrote in a report. The Brazilian real strengthened 0.3 percent, the Mexican peso slipped 0.4 percent and the Colombian peso was flat. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index treaded water, holding near seven-year highs. Shares in steelmaker Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA were the biggest gainers, tracking higher prices of China-listed steel futures. Shares of busmaker Marcopolo SA fell as much as 2.3 percent after a large fire broke out on Sunday afternoon at one of its factories, the biggest in Brazil. Marcopolo kept the factory closed on Monday but said that the fire did not damage the assembly line there.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1720 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
change change Latest
MSCI Emerging Markets 1083.34 -0.73 26.57 MSCI LatAm 2896.05 -0.56 24.42 Brazil Bovespa 71878.21 -0.06 19.34 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC 50907.93 -0.34 11.54 Chile IPSA 5154.68 -0.37 24.17 Chile IGPA 25751.37 -0.34 24.20 Argentina MerVal 23547.97 -0.46 39.19 Colombia IGBC 11251.97 0.78 11.10 Venezuela IBC 264614.31 12.94 734.61 Currencies daily % YTD %
change change Latest
Brazil real 3.1379 0.27 3.55 Mexico peso 17.8820 -0.39 16.00 Chile peso 624.15 0.14 7.46 Colombia peso 2929.1 0.03 2.47 Peru sol 3.237 0.03 5.47 Argentina peso (interbank) 17.2550 -0.23 -8.00 Argentina peso (parallel) 18.11 0.22 -7.12
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Nick Zieminski)