NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies weakened versus the dollar on Thursday after U.S. inflation and factory activity data supported the greenback, but the U.S. currency gave up some gains as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before the Senate. Stocks in the region rose 0.58 percent after closing February with a decline of over 4 percent, the largest monthly percentage drop since November 2016. Globally, emerging market stocks were little changed for the day. Markets were jittery as Powell took questions from U.S. senators two days after the newly appointed Fed chief raised speculation about increased monetary tightening in the United States in 2018. The Mexican equities benchmark IPC index rose 0.3 percent after falling 6 percent in February, its largest monthly percentage loss since September 2011. Brazil's Bovespa was up 0.7 percent. Steelmaker Gerdau rose 2.0 percent while Usiminas was down 1.5 percent as talk about potential U.S. tariffs on the metal made the rounds in Washington, with U.S. President Donald Trump set to meet with steel and aluminum executives.
Key Latin American stock indexes at 16:29 GMT:
Stock indexes Latest Daily pct YTD pct change change MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF 1,193.96 -0.1 3.17 MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS 3,070.91 0.11 8.46 Brazil Bovespa .BVSP 85,597.75 0.29 12.04 Mexico IPC .MXX 47,578.87 0.3 -3.60 Chile IPSA .IPSA 5,569.40 -0.6 0.09 Chile IGPA .IGPA 27,982.51 -0.53 0.01 Argentina MerVal .MERV 32,761.94 -0.75 8.97 Colombia IGBC .IGBC 11,321.53 -0.78 -0.43
Key Latin American currencies at 16:29 GMT:
Currencies Latest Daily pct YTD pct change change Brazil real BRL= 3.2544 -0.26 1.74 Mexico peso MXN=D2 18.8375 0.01 4.37 Chile peso CLP=CL 594.8 -0.05 3.23 Colombia peso COP= 2,875.95 -0.36 3.56 Peru sol PEN=PE 3.263 0.09 0.80 Argentina peso ARS=RASL 20.14 -0.10 8.31 Argentina peso ARSB= 20.22 0.25 4.73
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)