Mercados emergentes: el mercado de divisas de Latam se tambalea cuando comienza la precaución antes de las actas de la Fed

    * Brazil retail sales surge in May
    * Mexican COVID cases spike
    * Chilean constitution drafting process in focus

    By Ambar Warrick
    July 7 (Reuters) - Brazil's real tumbled to a one-month low,
with other Latin American currencies falling as investors
watched for potentially hawkish commentary from the minutes of
the U.S. Federal Reserve's recent meeting. 
    The real sank 0.5% to 5.2346 and was set for a
seventh straight session of losses.
    Concerns over corruption scandals involving top government
officials had cost the currency its place as the top performing
emerging market unit this year. The real is now trading flat
this year, after severely lagging its peers in 2020.
    But robust economic data in Brazil has supported the real.
Data on Wednesday showed retail sales rose in May, with a strong
upward revision for April suggesting consumers are shrugging off
the COVID-19 pandemic and driving the broader economic recovery.

    "With improved mobility and renewed fiscal transfers we
expect the retail sector to recover visibly in 2Q2021, and to
expand further in 2H2021, in tandem with further progress of the
Covid vaccination program, gradual reopening of the economy, and
renewed fiscal stimulus," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a
note.
    Other Latin American currencies retreated as the dollar
found its footing ahead of the Fed minutes. Investors will be
watching for any further indicators on when the U.S. central
bank will begin tightening policy, after it rattled markets with
a hawkish tilt last month. 
    Higher U.S. interest rates narrow the gap between risky and
risk-free debt, and make emerging market assets appear less
attractive. 
    
    Chile's peso fell 1.2% despite a rise in copper
prices, as the country's trade surplus in June narrowed from the
prior month.
    All eyes are now on Chile's process for drafting a new
constitution. Delegates on Sunday chose a woman from Chile's
majority indigenous Mapuche people to lead them in the process.

    Losses in Mexico's peso were somewhat muted as data
showed exports from the country's large automobile manufacturing
sector surged 18.3% in June.
    But with Mexican COVID-19 cases jumping at their highest
rate since late February, investors have grown concerned over a
possible new wave of infections in the country.
    Colombia's peso fell 0.7%, while Peru's sol
was flat after thousands of Peruvians took to the streets on
Tuesday to protest uncertainty over the result of a presidential
election a month ago.
    Latin American stocks fell 0.4% in early trade, tracking a
broader decline in emerging markets. 

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
    
                              Latest       Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1339.59                 -0.52
                                        
 MSCI LatAm                    2513.37                 -0.43
                                        
 Brazil Bovespa              125655.84                  0.45
                                        
 Mexico IPC                   49887.05                 -0.32
                                        
 Chile IPSA                    4182.40                   0.4
                                        
 Argentina MerVal             63721.95                  0.25
                                        
 Colombia COLCAP               1269.65                 -0.19 Currencies             Latest       Daily % change
 Brazil real                    5.2346                 -0.47
                                        
 Mexico peso                   20.0420                 -0.15
                                        
 Chile peso                     755.81                 -1.23
                                        
 Colombia peso                 3800.96                 -0.67
 Peru sol                       3.9377                  0.09
                                        
 Argentina peso                95.9400                 -0.02
 (interbank)                            
                                        
 

    
 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  

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