SAO PAULO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies were nearly flat on Wednesday as investors held off bets ahead of a Federal Reserve interest rate decision. Traders widely expect the U.S. central bank to keep rates unchanged, with a hike coming in December. Nevertheless, the policy statement could provide valuable hints over the future path of monetary policy following mixed economic data. Traders are also waiting for the nomination of the next Fed chair, who will replace Janet Yellen after her term ends in February 2018. President Donald Trump, who has interviewed Yellen, Fed Governor Jerome Powell and three others for the job, is likely to announce the nomination on Thursday. Powell, a soft-spoken centrist who has supported Yellen's gradual approach to raising rates, is seen as having a lock on the position. A slower path of rate hikes could support demand for emerging market currencies, which offer higher yields. The Brazilian real and the Mexican peso treaded water. Both currencies posted their worst monthly losses in around a year in October. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 0.8 percent. Shares of miner Vale SA added the most points to the index, tracking higher iron ore prices after losing over 5 percent in the prior five trading days. Shares in retailer Magazine Luiza SA, which are not part of the benchmark index, rose 7.6 percent after posting stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings. In a client note, analysts at Banco BTG Pactual SA called Magazine Luiza an excellent vehicle for investors seeking exposure to the secular growth of Brazilian e-commerce in the next 5 years.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1400 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1131.85 1.14 29.78 MSCI LatAm 2826.85 0.62 20.02 Brazil Bovespa 74933.02 0.84 24.42 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC 48823.66 0.41 6.97 Chile IPSA 5588.08 -0.37 34.61 Chile IGPA 28028.35 -0.25 35.18 Argentina MerVal 27935.28 0 65.12 Colombia IGBC 10693.50 0.58 5.58 Venezuela IBC 681.34 0 -97.85 Currencies daily % YTD % change change
Brazil real 3.2720 -0.01 -0.70 Mexico peso 19.1530 -0.07 8.31 Colombia peso 3036.64 0.14 -1.16 Peru sol 3.25 0.00 5.05 Argentina peso (interbank) 17.6600 0.03 -10.11 Argentina peso (parallel) 18.05 0.55 -6.81
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; editing by Susan Thomas)