April 1, 2019 / 3:12 PM / 17 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, FX rise as China data lifts risk sentiment

    By Susan Mathew
    April 1 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies
firmed on Monday in a worldwide rally spurred by positive China
manufacturing data easing some fears about a broader slowdown in
global growth.
    Factory activity in China grew for the first time in four
months in March, data showed, stumping expectations and
suggesting that government stimulus measures may be starting to
take hold in the world's second largest economy.
    The United States and China, which is a main destination for
Latin American resources, said on Friday that they made progress
in talks to resolve trade disputes, providing an additional
boost to sentiment ahead of further discussions in Washington.

    Risk sentiment was "boosted by encouraging manufacturing
figures in China and signs of progress in trade talks between
the world's two biggest powers," analysts at CI Banco said in a
note.
    In Brazil, the real jumped 1.4 percent against a
softer dollar, while stocks in Sao Paulo were on course
to extend gains to a third session, up 0.7 percent.
    Iron ore miner Vale SA was the biggest boost, up
3.7 percent, tracking a surge in iron ore prices.
    Investors are also closely watching the progress of the
Brazilian government's pension reforms as a committee reviews
the proposal. 
    "The special committee for pension reform is where most of
the resistance and concessions will happen," analysts at Citi
Research said in a note. "We stay on the sidelines anticipating
market volatility over this period."
    Mexico's peso, a weather vane for trade sentiment,
climbed 0.9 percent, rebounding from Friday's fall which was
prompted by U.S. President Donald trump threatening to close the
Mexican border to stop Central American immigrants entering the 
United States.
    Closing the border could cost billions of dollars in trade.
    Chile's peso was set to post its biggest one-day gain
in two months as prices of its main export, copper, rose.

    Investors looked past the Chilean central bank cutting its
2019 economic growth forecast to between 3 and 4 percent from a
previous estimate of 3.25 percent to 4.25 percent, saying
sluggish inflation called for a slower, more cautious easing of
monetary stimulus.
    The bank had kept rates unchanged at 3 percent on Friday, as
expected.
    
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 0237 GMT:
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1070.78       1.2
                                        
 MSCI LatAm                    2787.89      1.52
                                        
 Brazil Bovespa               96404.87      1.04
                                        
 Mexico IPC                   43538.81       0.6
                                        
 Chile IPSA                    5280.94      0.41
                                        
 Argentina MerVal             33756.76      0.87
                                        
 Colombia IGBC                13100.11      0.31
                                        
                                                
       Currencies             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 Brazil real                    3.8678      1.21
                                        
 Mexico peso                   19.2532      0.87
                                        
 Chile peso                      672.8      1.00
                                        
 Colombia peso                  3143.5      1.35
 Peru sol                        3.287      0.94
                                        
 Argentina peso                42.8000      1.29
 (interbank)                            
                                        
 

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Grant
McCool)
  
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