June 18, 2019 / 8:00 PM / 3 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, FX rise; Argentine stocks scale record high

 (Updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    June 18 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies
surged on Tuesday with a dovish boost from the European Central
Bank and positive headlines from the U.S.-China trade tensions
boosting sentiment.
    MSCI's index of Latin American stocks jumped
2%, while its index of regional currencies rose
for the first time in four sessions, up 0.7% as regional
currencies firmed against a steady dollar.
    Ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting outcome on
Wednesday, when the bank is expected to lay the groundwork for a
rate cut, ECB President Mario Draghi hinted at the possibility
of new rate cuts. 
    This, along with news that China and the United States are
rekindling trade talks after a lull ahead of a meeting between
Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the G20 summit later
this month, buoyed markets globally.
    Regional assets joined the rally with Brazil stocks
rising 1.6% to hit a three-month high.
    Petrochemical company Braskem cut early losses to
trade 4.7% higher. A Brazilian judge on Tuesday granted
bankruptcy protection to the company's controlling shareholder
Odebrecht, and included Braskem in a list of subsidiaries that
creditors are not allowed to sell shares in.
    The real currency firmed 0.7% ahead of the Brazilian
central bank's rate meeting on Wednesday, when it is expected to
keep its key lending rate on hold.     
    Returning from a three-day weekend, Argentine stocks
rose about 2% and scaled an all-time high before trading 0.8%
higher, while the currency rose more than 1%.
    Mexican stocks rose 0.4%, breaking a three-day losing
run. The peso traded steady a day after rating agency
Moody's had flagged risks from state oil firm Pemex and
unpredictable policymaking by its government.
    A rise in crude oil prices helped Colombian assets. The oil-
exporting country's currency rose almost 1%, while stocks
rose 1.7% to an over four-week high, with state oil firm
Ecopetrol up 2.3%.
    Copper-exporting Chile's peso rose after four
straight sessions of losses. Copper prices hit three-week highs
on Tuesday on trade optimism.
    Santiago-traded stocks rose 0.1%. 
    Chile President Sebastián Piñera said on Tuesday the
government will accelerate a $4 billion infrastructure program
this year to revive the country's slow-growing economy. The
labor minister, Nicolás Monckeberg, also said the government
will push pension reform plans through Congress with "extreme
urgency."
    
   Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1939 GMT:
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1025.63      1.45
                                        
 MSCI LatAm                    2788.24         2
                                        
 Brazil Bovespa               99222.15      1.64
                                        
 Mexico IPC                   43182.32      0.51
                                        
 Chile IPSA                   5,031.79      0.14
                                        
 Argentina MerVal             40820.48      0.82
                                        
 Colombia IGBC                12450.09      1.62
                                        
                                                
       Currencies             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 Brazil real                    3.8598      1.04
                                        
 Mexico peso                   19.1380      0.20
                                        
 Chile peso                      696.2      0.57
                                        
 Colombia peso                  3253.1      0.86
 Peru sol                        3.332      0.45
                                        
 Argentina peso                43.4000      1.38
 (interbank)                            
                                        
 

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan
Oatis)
  
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