September 5, 2018 / 3:41 PM / 10 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Argentine equities rebound as traders seek bargains

    SAO PAULO/BUENOS AIRES, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Argentina's
benchmark Merval equities index shot up almost 2 percent on
Wednesday amid a relatively quiet day in the region, as traders
sought buying opportunities following a multiday rout.
    The Merval had fallen about 4.1 percent on Tuesday alone,
after sliding almost 2 percent on Monday. Meanwhile, the
country's peso currency has dropped dramatically in recent days,
falling over 50 percent this year as investors waiting for a
rebound under market-friendly President Mauricio Macri lose
    The Merval had climbed some 1.7 percent in midday
trade, by far the region's biggest gainer, while the peso
 climbed 0.57 percent.
    Traders said the gains were driven by opportunistic buying
rather than macroeconomic factors. 
    While the International Monetary Fund is in negotiations
with the Argentine government over a deal to strengthen a $50
billion financing line it has already extended to the nation,
there was little optimism in the market about a possible accord.

    "Skepticism is dominant in the local market," said Esteban
Goyheneix, head of Buenos Aires market brokerage Neix.
    In Brazil, the real currency and benchmark Bovespa
stock index were near even. 
    Political uncertainty took a toll after judicial authorities
canceled the release of a closely watched poll on technical
grounds, while prosecutors in the state of Sao Paulo accused
market-friendly presidential candidate Geraldo Alckmin of
accepting improper donations from scandal-plagued construction
firm Odebrecht during a previous campaign.
    Still, the index was supported by opportunistic buying after
some heavily weighted firms, such as beverage company Ambev SA
, fell significantly in previous sessions.
    The biggest winner on the Bovespa was Suzano Papel e
Celulose SA, which climbed 6.3 percent in midday
trade, after Brazil's securities regulator rejected a request by
shareholders to delay a shareholders' meeting in which a tie-up
with rival Fibria Celulose SA will be discussed.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1502 GMT:
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1040.17     -0.66    -10.21
 MSCI LatAm                    2387.97      -2.3    -15.56
 Brazil Bovespa               75030.62      0.43     -1.80
 Mexico IPC                   48764.38     -0.25     -1.20
 Argentina MerVal             28093.88       1.7     -6.56
 Colombia IGBC                12141.44     -0.62      6.78
 Venezuela IBC               301113.44      5.17  23738.49
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
 Brazil real                    4.1550     -0.06    -20.26
 Mexico peso               19.4690        0.33    -1.1803
 Chile peso                      692.3     -0.13    -11.22
 Colombia peso                  3102.2     -0.44     -3.87
 Peru sol                        3.317      0.03     -2.41
 Argentina peso                38.8300      0.57    -52.10
 Argentina peso                     38      1.32    -49.39

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery and Jorge Otaola; Additional
reporting by Hugh Bronstein; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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