May 16, 2018 / 10:10 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Argentine stocks climb after Lebac note auction

    SAO PAULO/BUENOS AIRES, May 16 (Reuters) - Argentina's stock
market climbed on Wednesday after the central bank held a
successful auction of its Lebac notes the previous day, but the
peso ended slightly weaker as the bank sold no dollars on the
spot market.
    Late on Tuesday, Argentina's central bank sold 620.93
billion pesos ($26 billion) of short-term Lebac securities at
its monthly auction, compared with about 616 billion pesos'
worth of securities that matured. 
    That came after the central bank raised the interest rate on
the security to about 40 percent, up from 26.3 percent
    In recent weeks, the Argentine peso has deteriorated
rapidly, spurring the government to seek a financing agreement
from the International Monetary Fund. On Monday, the currency
fell some 6 percent, hitting an all-time low.
    On Tuesday, however, the peso snapped a losing streak,
closing up 3.73 percent after the central bank sold $791 million
on the spot market. 
    On Wednesday, the rally briefly continued after the Lebac
auction, but ended the day slightly weaker, with the peso
 down 0.78 percent at 24.29 to the dollar as the
central bank did not sell dollars on the spot market.

    Argentina's benchmark Merval index closed up more
than 3 percent.
    Elsewhere in the region, Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index
 closed up 1.65 percent, while Mexico's IPC index
closed up 0.35 percent.
    Mexico's peso closed up 0.49 percent after it rallied on the
news that independent presidential hopeful Margarita Zavala
dropped out of the race, which some think could help a
business-friendly candidate.

  Latin American stock indexes at 2140 GMT:
 Stock indexes                            daily %    YTD %
                                           change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1155.09       0.42    -0.29
 MSCI LatAm                    2825.94       0.89    -0.08
 Brazil Bovespa               86536.97       1.65    13.27
 Mexico IPC                   46419.77       0.35    -5.95
 Chile IPSA                    5727.86        0.3     2.93
 Chile IGPA                   28957.44       0.32     3.49
 Argentina MerVal             31660.57       3.21     5.30
 Colombia IGBC                12366.08      -1.93     8.75
 Venezuela IBC                21797.17       5.96  1625.63
 (Reporting by Gram Slattery in Sao Paulo and Walter Bianchi in
Buenos Aires; Editing by Tom Brown and Grant McCool)
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