April 9, 2018 / 4:14 PM / in a year

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks down on election uncertainty

    By Bruno Federowski
    BRASILIA, April 9 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks fell on
Monday as traders fretted over the most hard-to-predict
presidential elections in decades, although meatpacker Marfrig
Global Foods SA soared after acquiring U.S.-based
National Beef Packing Co           .
    Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva turned himself in
to police on Saturday to begin serving a 12-year prison sentence
for corruption that derails his bid to return to power.

    Lula, who had criticized the government's efforts to cut
social security spending, had easily led voting polls, unnerving
traders who saw those austerity plans as key to curbing growth
of public debt.
    Investors expect him to continue to exert influence over an
election that is now without an obvious front-runner.
    "With all that uncertainty, it is natural that local markets
demand a higher risk premium," said a manager at a Rio de
Janeiro-based brokerage. 
    The benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 0.7 percent,
the only decliner among Latin America's main equity indexes that
were mostly range-bound.
    Marfrig shares posted their biggest daily gain in over six
years after the meatpacker unveiled a $969 million acquisition
of National Beef Packing, which would make it the world's No. 2
beef processor after JBS SA.
    Marfrig also said it was seeking to sell an existing U.S.
unit, Keystone Food LLC, with the proceeds repaying $1 billion
in loans taken out to finance the acquisition of 51 percent of
National Beef, the United States' fourth largest beef processor.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1550 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                 daily %   YTD %
                                    Latest      change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                1164.97     0.26     0.3
 MSCI LatAm                           3016.11    -0.42     7.1
 Brazil Bovespa                      84228.93     -0.7   10.24
 Mexico IPC                          48193.82     0.56   -2.35
 Chile IPSA                           5625.55     0.76    1.10
 Chile IGPA                          27988.74     0.05    0.03
 Argentina MerVal                    31933.37     0.61    6.21
 Colombia IGBC                       11953.67     0.63    5.13
 Currencies                                    daily %   YTD %
                                                change  change
 Brazil real                           3.3927    -0.75   -2.34
 Mexico peso                          18.2505     0.23    7.94
 Chile peso                            603.61     0.08    1.83
 Colombia peso                        2779.85     0.41    7.27
 Peru sol                               3.239    -0.03   -0.06
 Argentina peso (interbank)           20.1900    -0.05   -7.88
 Argentina peso (parallel)              20.51     0.63   -6.24
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
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