February 6, 2020 / 3:56 PM / 16 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam assets up on China tariff cut; Brazil's real hits 1-week high

    * China to halve tariffs on some U.S. imports 
    * Brazil's central bank signals latest rate cut will be its
last 
    * Argentina's Senate passes debt restructuring bill

    By Shreyashi Sanyal
    Feb 6 (Reuters) - Latin American assets rose on Thursday, as
China's plan to halve additional tariffs on some U.S. goods
eased worries around the economic blow from the coronavirus
outbreak, while Brazil's real hit a one-week high on signals
from the country's central bank.
    China's finance ministry said from Feb. 14, additional
tariffs levied on some U.S. goods will be cut to 5% from 10% and
others lowered to 2.5% from 5%.
    "The risk rebound has extended into another session after
China said it would halve additional tariffs on U.S. imports and
hopes persist that the ongoing global viral outbreak could soon
be contained," said Ned Rumpeltin, European head of FX strategy
at TD Securities. 
    The virus outbreak in China has sapped risk appetite around
the world recently but stimulus and containment measures from
China were well-received by investors, even as the death toll
from the fast-spreading virus in mainland China jumped to 563 as
of Thursday.
    MSCI's index for Latin American stocks
gained more than 1%, while the index for currencies
 rose 0.4%. 
    Brazil's real rallied in early trading before falling
flat against the greenback, as the central bank signaled the
night before that its latest interest rate cut will bring its
easing cycle to an end.  
    Brazil's central bank on Wednesday lowered its benchmark
interest rate by 25 basis points to a record-low 4.25%, marking
its fifth consecutive cut.
    In Argentina, its senate voted in favor of a bill on
Wednesday that grants power to the government of President
Alberto Fernandez to handle a massive debt restructuring of
bonds issued in foreign currencies.
    Its peso currency weakened against the dollar on
Thursday. 
    The South American nation is grappling with about $100
billion in sovereign debt it is seeking to restructure with its
creditors, including the International Monetary Fund, which has
a $57 billion financing package with the country.
    Other currencies in the region - the Mexican peso,
Chilean peso, Colombian peso and Peruvian sol
 - traded in tight ranges.  
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1422 GMT
   Stock indexes               Latest       Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets             1104.02            1.34
                                            
 MSCI LatAm                        2856.91            1.01
                                            
 Brazil Bovespa                  117253.33            1.06
                                            
 Mexico IPC                              -               -
                                            
 Chile IPSA                        4682.21            0.15
                                            
 Argentina MerVal                 41024.88           0.632
                                            
 Colombia COLCAP                   1656.30               0
                                            
                                                          
       Currencies              Latest       Daily % change
 Brazil real                        4.2390           -0.05
                                            
 Mexico peso                       18.6168           -0.14
                                            
 Chile peso                          778.4           -0.05
                                            
 Colombia peso                     3372.19           -0.28
 Peru sol                           3.3668           -0.17
                                            
 Argentina peso                    60.5800            0.02
 (interbank)                                
                                            
 

 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru)
  
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