August 2, 2018 / 9:15 PM / in a year

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks track U.S. shares, crude prices higher

 (Adds peso reaction to Mexican central bank decision)
    By Bruno Federowski
    BRASILIA, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks advanced on
Thursday on the heels of rising prices of crude and U.S.
equities, while Mexico's peso slipped after the central bank
held interest rates steady and cut its growth outlook.
    The benchmark Bovespa stock index was up 0.43
percent, outperforming other regional equity indexes, which
largely fell.
    The move upward tracked gains in U.S. stocks after Apple
became the first $1 trillion publicly listed U.S. company, 
leading a rebound in technology stocks and pushing the benchmark
S&P 500 and the Nasdaq higher.
    Crude prices rose after release of an industry report
suggesting U.S. crude stockpiles would soon begin to decline
again, helping to lift shares of state-controlled oil company
Petróleo Brasileiro SA.
    Fuel distributor Ultrapar Participações SA posted
its biggest daily gain in seven years. The company announced it
will pay 304.24 million reais ($81 million) in dividends,
outshining mostly lackluster second-quarter earnings.
    The Brazilian real was flat, in line with other
little-changed currencies in the region.
    Concerns over escalating trade tensions between the United
States and China have hurt demand for risky assets, weighing on
appetite for emerging-market currencies.
    Mexican stocks and currency both fell, dipping 0.81 percent
and 0.32 percent, respectively.
    Mexico's central bank held interest rates steady on Thursday
and policymakers said that the economy would likely expand in
the lower half of their previous guidance for a 2 percent to 3
percent range for 2018.
    "Since the statement was less restrictive than expected, the
peso moderately lost some ground," said Gabriela Siller, an
analyst at Banco BASE. 
    Data this week showed the economy contracted slightly in the
second quarter.

    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1730 GMT:

 Stock indexes                            daily   YTD %
                                              %  change
                               Latest    change  
 MSCI Emerging Markets          1066.80   -1.85   -6.18
 MSCI LatAm                     2691.18   -0.54   -4.32
 Brazil Bovespa                79645.05    0.43    4.24
 Mexico IPC                    49048.41   -0.81   -0.62
 Chile IPSA                     5388.01   -0.19   -3.17
 Chile IGPA                    27148.53   -0.14   -2.97
 Argentina MerVal              28919.82   -1.59   -3.81
 Colombia IGBC                 12140.99   -0.68    6.77
 Venezuela IBC                 95153.84    6.18  7433.1
 Currencies                               daily   YTD %
                                              %  change
 Brazil real                     3.7559    0.04  -11.78
 Mexico peso                    18.6490   -0.32    5.63
 Chile peso                      644.81   -0.35   -4.68
 Colombia peso                   2904.5   -0.34    2.67
 Peru sol                         3.273   -0.03   -1.10
 Argentina peso (interbank)     27.4300    0.35  -32.19
 Argentina peso (parallel)         28.1    0.36  -31.57

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; additional reporting by Julia
Love and Sheky Espejo in Mexico City; editing by Grant McCool)
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