EMERGING MARKETS-Peru's sol rises on positive data, Russian tensions persist

·3 min read

* Brazilian miners resume production in Minas Gerais * Russian rouble volatile, bonds weaken * Latam FX, stock muted in thin trade (Writes through with Latam) By Susan Mathew and Ambar Warrick Jan 17 (Reuters) - Peru's sol led gains among its Latin American peers on Monday after data showed the economy expanded in November, while Russian assets remained under pressure as tensions between Moscow and the West showed little sign of easing. The sol rose 0.7% to a more-than six-month high to the dollar, after data showed the Peruvian economy grew by 3.5% in November. Still, the reading was its slowest pace of growth since March, as the country's key mining sector remained pressured by environmental protests. Russia's rouble was flat against the dollar in volatile trade, while investors continued to offload debt in the country. Yields on Russia's 10-year benchmark OFZ government bonds stayed near six-year highs. Ukraine's dollar-denominated sovereign bonds also fell and both countries' default insurance costs jumped. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Monday that she hoped mounting tensions with Russia over Ukraine could be solved by diplomacy, but she warned that Moscow would suffer if it does attack the country. Talks between Moscow and Western states on Russia's deployment of tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine's border ended with no breakthrough last week. A cyber attack against Ukraine has further inflamed tensions. "Geopolitical wobbles are shaking (Commonwealth of Independent States) assets. As a result, both Ukrainian and Russian lines cheapened versus their ratings. It seems that rhetoric will continue to be the made driver of yields for the time being," said EM strategists at TD Securities. In China's troubled property sector, the biggest homebuilder by sales, Country Garden, saw its bonds slump again up to 17 points, leaving most of its international market debt at 25%-35% below its face value. In Latin America, Brazil's real hovered near two-month highs after economic activity rose a seasonally adjusted 0.69% in November, marking its strongest monthly print since February following four months of consecutive drops. Still, prospects for the final quarter are weak, with double-digit inflation weighing on consumption and investment decisions. Most other regional currencies fell against a stronger dollar. Stocks in Latam fell in thin trade owing to a holiday in the United States, with Brazil's Bovespa retreating from a near one-month high. Shares of Brazil's Aliansce Sonae fell 2.3% after it said it will keep pushing for a merger with shopping mall operator BR Malls even after the rival turned down its offer last week. BR's shares rose 2%. Brazilian miners, including Vale SA began resuming production in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais after being forced to halt some operations due to heavy rains. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies: Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1255.24 -0.18 MSCI LatAm 2218.69 0.44 Brazil Bovespa 106844.69 -0.08 Mexico IPC 54172.44 0.8 Chile IPSA 4464.80 -0.48 Argentina MerVal 85019.75 -0.54 Colombia COLCAP 1514.55 5.78 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.5189 -0.13 Mexico peso 20.2822 0.04 Chile peso 821.8 -0.36 Colombia peso 4003.26 0.00 Peru sol 3.8505 0.73 Argentina peso 104.0200 -0.15 (interbank) (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)