September 20, 2018 / 4:35 PM / 3 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Argentine peso, equities rise on IMF talks

    SAO PAULO/BUENOS AIRES, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Argentina's peso
and benchmark equities index rose sharply on Thursday amid
optimism over negotiations between the country's government and
the International Monetary Fund, as well as central bank
measures to strengthen the currency.
    Argentina is seeking support from the IMF to strengthen a
$50 billion financing line designed to shore up the struggling
peso. On Thursday, the two parties appeared to edge closer to a
deal, with an IMF spokesman saying the two sides have made
"important progress" in the past week.
    The peso also firmed after the central bank
auctioned off some 107 billion pesos ($2.79 billion) worth of
its so-called Lecap securities late on Wednesday.
    "Officially, they are succeeding in their goal of drying up
the pesos," one Buenos Aires-based trader said.
    Argentina's Merval equities index had climbed 1.83
percent in afternoon trade, while the peso was up
some 2.79 percent against the dollar.
    Across the region, currencies climbed moderately against the
greenback. In Brazil, where the real currency was up 1.13
percent, analysts cited a major poll released early on Thursday
that showed right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro
tied against leftist Fernando Haddad in a likely second-round
vote.
    The Chilean peso was also a big winner, climbing
more than 2 percent. The currency was battered in August and the
first week of September, falling almost 10 percent during that
period.
    
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1551 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1031.07      1.11       -11
                                                  
 MSCI LatAm                    2501.62      0.04    -11.55
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa               78049.68     -0.15      2.16
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                   49635.28      0.09      0.57
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal             33723.88      1.83     12.17
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC                12297.69     -0.25      8.15
                                                  
 Venezuela IBC               317499.56         0  25035.74
                                                  
                                                          
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
                                Latest            
 Brazil real                    4.0775      1.13    -18.74
                                                  
 Mexico peso               18.8610        0.45        
                                                  
 Chile peso                      672.2      2.17     -8.56
                                                  
 Colombia peso                 3014.68      0.42     -1.08
 Peru sol                        3.298      0.15     -1.85
                                                  
 Argentina peso                38.3000      2.79    -51.44
 (interbank)                                      
                                                  
 Argentina peso                     38      2.63    -49.39
 (parallel)                                       
                                                  
 



 (Reporting by Gram Slattery and Jorge Otaola; Additional
reporting by Claudia Volante
Editing by Paul Simao)
  
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