April 4, 2019 / 9:36 PM / 6 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, FX broadly rise, Brazil and Mexico shine

 (Recasts throughout, updates prices, adds strategist's quote)
    By Aaron Saldanha
    April 4 (Reuters) - Most Latin American stock markets and
currencies rose on Thursday, with assets in Brazil gaining on
hopes of smooth progress on pension reform, while their Mexican
peers firmed on broadly positive political developments with the
United States. 
    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro met fellow politicians in
a bid to build support to pass his government's proposal to
reform the country's bloated pension system, seen by investors
as crucial to trim Brazil's wide fiscal deficit. 
    MSCI's index of Latin American stocks rose
1.2 percent. Each country's bourse gained at least as much as
the regional benchmark, with the exception of Colombia's. 
    Sao Paulo-traded stocks tacked on 1.9 percent,
clocking broad-based gains in their best one-day performance in
two weeks. The index more than made up ground lost in
Wednesday's 0.9 percent slide. 
    Rafael Bevilacqua, chief strategist at investment
consultancy Levante, said the performance was a combination of a
recovery from the previous session's losses and optimism around
the government's attempt to articulate its reform proposal.     
    Common shares and preferred shares of
state-run oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) jumped
3.3 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
    Brazil's mines and energy minister said he is optimistic
there will be a deal by next week resolving the government's
dispute with Petrobras over the offshore oil-producing zone
known as the transfer of rights area.
    Petrobras is expected to receive a multibillion-dollar
payment from the government to resolve a dispute over a 2010
deal granting the firm rights to extract oil in the area. 
    Shares of miner Vale SA rose 0.7 percent,
following part of a rise seen in Dalian-traded iron ore futures
 earlier in the global day.
    Brazil's real strengthened 0.4 percent, while yields
on its local, 10-year bonds dipped to 8.93 percent.
    Mexican stocks rose 1.4 percent while the peso
firmed 0.4 percent.
    U.S. President Donald Trump said a "lot of good things are
happening in Mexico." 
    Trump, however, threatened to apply tariffs at 25 percent on
car imports from Mexico unless the country did more to stop drug
    Chilean stocks gained 1.2 percent, matching the
rise on Argentina's stocks benchmark, which partly
recovered from Wednesday's 3.8 percent drubbing.
    Argentina's peso slid. Industrial output in February
slid 8.5 percent, data showed, marking the tenth straight month
of declines.
    Colombia's stocks were the exception to regional
optimism on the day, dipping 0.1 percent, while the local peso
 weakened 0.2 percent.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2056 GMT
 Stock indexes                                  daily %
                                    Latest       change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                1080.73      0.09
 MSCI LatAm                           2797.34      1.18
 Brazil Bovespa                      96313.06      1.93
 Mexico IPC                          43937.39      1.38
 Chile IPSA                           5283.70      1.16
 Argentina MerVal                    32142.47      1.19
 Colombia IGBC                       13040.09      -0.1
 Currencies                                     daily %
 Brazil real                           3.8562      0.01
 Mexico peso                          19.1450      0.34
 Chile peso                             665.5      0.15
 Colombia peso                        3127.93     -0.22
 Peru sol                               3.296     -0.03
 Argentina peso (interbank)           43.3900     -1.18

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru, Additional reporting
by Stefani Inouye in Sao Paulo)
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