SAO PAULO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies mostly weakened on Tuesday ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting this week that could bolster expectations of higher U.S. interest rates going forward. The Fed will publish its policy statement on Wednesday following a two-day meeting. Some economists expect it to raise its economic assessment, which would strengthen expectations of the U.S. central bank raising interest rates four times this year. Higher U.S. rates could weigh on demand for emerging market assets, which typically offer higher yields. Traders also avoided risky assets ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address later on Tuesday. "Trade, immigration, and infrastructure are the most highly anticipated areas of focus. Foreign policy will also be closely scrutinized as market participants look to comments on North Korea, Iran, and potentially Russia," analysts at Scotiabank wrote in a client note. Currencies from Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia weakened between 0.3 and 0.6 percent. Stocks also fell in the region in the wake of risk-aversion, with MSCI's Latin American index down 1.3 percent. Blue-chips led the decline, with Brazilian lender Itaú Unibanco Holding SA subtracting the most points from the benchmark Bovespa stock index. Shares of wood pulpmaker Fibria Celulose SA, however, rose 2 percent after its operating profit nearly tripled in the third quarter from the year before. Fibria executives on Tuesday denied that the company or its shareholders were discussing a potential tie-up with rival Eldorado Brasil Celulose SA, but underscored their interest in eventual deals in the sector.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1610 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change
MSCI Emerging Markets 1247.65 -1.6 9.45 MSCI LatAm 3155.59 -1.29 13.04 Brazil Bovespa 83985.53 -0.84 9.93 Mexico IPC 50219.69 -0.82 1.75 Chile IPSA 5837.31 -0.73 4.90 Chile IGPA 29323.84 -0.66 4.80 Argentina MerVal 33904.77 -2.54 12.77 Colombia IGBC 12260.74 -1.03 7.83 Currencies daily % YTD % change change
Brazil real 3.1838 -0.59 4.07 Mexico peso 18.6775 -0.28 5.47 Chile peso 605.8 -0.42 1.46 Colombia peso 2846.19 -0.36 4.77 Peru sol 3.216 -0.03 0.65 Argentina peso (interbank) 19.5950 -0.03 -5.08 Argentina peso (parallel) 19.98 0.25 -3.75
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)