October 25, 2019 / 2:39 PM / 23 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX firm, Petrobras rally takes Brazil stocks to new highs

    By Susan Mathew
    Oct 25 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies firmed
against a tame dollar on Friday, with Mexico's peso looking to
post its best day in a week and Brazil's real hovering near its
highest in more than two months.
    The peso rose 0.3%. Mexico's deputy foreign minister
for North America, Jesus Seade, said U.S. lawmakers will soon
begin the formal process of approving the United
States-Mexico-Canada trade deal.
    The USMCA, signed last year, must win approval in a divided
U.S. Congress where Democrats have voiced concerns over the
agreement, including its labor and enforcement provisions.
    Brazil's real moved 0.7% higher against the dollar
heading into a week that will see investors watching for a
central bank meeting on interest rates.
    In Colombia, the peso climbed 0.3% ahead of Sunday's
vote to choose provincial governors, mayors and regional
legislators in elections that could influence the 2022
presidential contest. 
    The vote is likely to emphasize the power of regional
political families rather than parties, analysts told Reuters. 
    One of the most keenly monitored events in Latin America
over the weekend will be general elections in Argentina on
Sunday, with populist-leaning candidate Alberto Fernandez
expected to breeze past business-friendly President Mauricio
Macri. 
    Argentina's battered peso weakened another 1.34% on
Thursday, even after the central bank intervened heavily to ease
its fall. The peso had crashed in August when presidential
primaries saw Fernandez win by a much larger margin than
expected.
    A group of Argentina's largest bond holders have begun
forming a "creditor committee" in preparation for debt
negotiations after the country's elections, sources told
Reuters. 
    Chile's peso slipped marginally. Coper mining
companies in the world's largest producer of the red metal said
continuing nationwide riots had hobbled port facilities, public
transportation and supply chains, making an impact on
operations. 
    Among stocks, Brazil's bovespa index scaled yet
another life high as investors parsed through a batch of
earnings reports. 
    State oil firm Petrobras rallied after
saying some of its costs in a key oil-producing region plunged
in the third quarter. The firm reported quarterly net income
significantly lower than the previous quarter partly because of
already announced one-off charges. 
    As iron ore prices on the Dalian exchange closed up 2.1%,
miner Vale rose despite reporting a
weaker-than-forecast 15% gain in quarterly earnings.

    Brewer Ambev slumped after reporting a 9.7% fall
in third-quarter net profit.
    In Mexico, the benchmark index inched lower. 
    Broadcaster Grupo Televisa rallied despite
posting a 23% drop in profits, while Grupo Financiero Banorte
 slid. The bank posted a 13% increase in third
quarter profit.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1421 GMT:
   Stock indexes            Latest    Daily %
                                      change
 MSCI Emerging Markets       1035.29     -0.2
                                      
 MSCI LatAm                  2801.04    -0.07
                                      
 Brazil Bovespa            107388.36     0.38
                                      
 Mexico IPC                 43745.31    -0.07
                                      
 Chile IPSA                  4954.21    -1.21
                                      
 Argentina MerVal           33554.61    0.234
                                      
 Colombia IGBC              13126.33    -0.19
                                      
                                             
       Currencies           Latest    Daily %
                                      change
 Brazil real                  4.0114     0.79
                                      
 Mexico peso                 19.0905     0.19
                                      
 Chile peso                    725.8    -0.28
                                      
 Colombia peso               3394.61     0.28
 Peru sol                      3.349    -0.04
                                      
 Argentina peso              59.9800    -0.30
 (interbank)                          
                                      
 
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru;
Editing by Alistair Bell)
  
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