September 6, 2018 / 3:53 PM / 8 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Argentine equities rebound as IMF talks provoke cautious optimism

    BUENOS AIRES/SAO PAULO, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Argentine
equities jumped almost 5 percent on Thursday amid tentative
optimism about ongoing talks between the government and
International Monetary Fund, though traders warned the gains
were fragile.
    Late on Wednesday, Argentina's economy minister voiced
"enormous confidence" about clinching a new deal with the IMF to
secure early disbursements from a $50 billion standby loan
agreement approved in June. On Thursday, IMF spokesman Gerry
Rice said the two sides were making progress in the talks and
hoped "to conclude as rapidly as possible."

    The sanguine tone helped push up the Merval 4.56
percent in midday trade, its second consecutive day firmly in
the black, after a rocky start to the week. The peso climbed 1.9
    But traders were quick to warn that any lasting improvement
in the mood of the local market depended on a tangible
short-term resolution to the IMF talks.
    "Despite some rebounds, it would be premature to interpret
it as a change in the current complex environment, given that
investors are still awaiting the result of the IMF
negotiations," said Gustavo Ber, economist at Buenos Aires
consultancy Estudio Ber.
    Across the region, equities markets generally posted light
to moderate gains.
    In Brazil, traders took heart in a Thursday Supreme Court
decision rejecting jailed leftist former President Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva's latest appeal to be allowed to run for
president. A key poll released late on Wednesday showed his
likely stand-in, Fernando Haddad, with little support, and
market-friendly candidates such as centrist Geraldo Alckmin
gaining ground somewhat.
    The Bovespa was up 0.011 percent in midday trade.
    By far the biggest percent gainer on the index was highway
operator Ecorodovias Infraestrutura e Logistica SA,
which climbed 6.2 percent after analysts at Morgan Stanley
raised their recommendation on the stock to 'overweight' from
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1511 GMT:
 Stock indexes                            daily %     YTD %
                            Latest         change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          1021.72     -1.77     -11.8
 MSCI LatAm                     2380.08     -0.33    -15.84
 Brazil Bovespa                75175.68      0.11     -1.61
 Mexico IPC                    48840.92      0.51     -1.04
 Argentina MerVal              30081.27      4.56      0.05
 Colombia IGBC                 12095.80     -0.13      6.38
 Venezuela IBC                304639.84      0.67  24017.66
 Currencies                               daily %     YTD %
                                           change    change
 Brazil real                     4.1564     -0.33    -20.28
 Mexico peso                    19.3795     +0.15     -1.65
 Chile peso                         686     -0.04    -10.40
 Colombia peso                  3090.41      0.12     -3.51
 Peru sol                          3.32     -0.06     -2.50
 Argentina peso                 37.8000      1.90    -50.79
 Argentina peso                      37      4.05    -48.03

 (Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Gram Slattery; Editing by Tom
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