May 10, 2018 / 3:35 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Argentine stocks again rally in bullish day across LatAm

    SAO PAULO, May 10 (Reuters) - Argentine equities again shot
up on Thursday, recovering a chunk of their losses in recent
weeks, as Argentina's president met with International Monetary
Fund officials and the nation's Congress approved a key capital
markets law.
    Across the region, other major markets such as Mexico and
Brazil saw equities rise over 1 percent, as well, supported by a
solid day on Wall Street, oil prices that remain high in the
face of fresh U.S. sanctions on Iran, and a slew of positive
corporate earnings reports.
    On Thursday, Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne is
set to meet with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde
regarding a financing arrangement from the institution meant to
calm Argentina's volatile financial markets.
    On Wednesday, Argentina's Congress passed a capital markets
reform bill, seeking to boost the economy by reducing the power
of market regulators and loosening restrictions on some funds
investing in the country.
    "After the announcement to request financial help from the
IMF ... local stocks were able to take a breather after the
recent downturn and rebounded, taking advantage of the approval
of the capital markets law," said Gustavo Ber, a partner at
Buenos Aires consultancy Estudio Ber.
    Argentina's benchmark Merval index had climbed 3.79
percent in morning trade on Thursday, after rising about 6
percent on Wednesday. That followed a 12 percent rout over the
previous 12 sessions.
    Energy stocks in particular helped support the index, after
crude oil prices rose, triggered by potential disruption to oil
flows from major exporter Iran in the face of U.S. sanctions.
While oil prices moderated amid profit booking on Thursday,
prices remain high.
    Pampa Energia SA climbed some 8.4 percent, while
various other energy stocks in Argentina climbed more than 5
    In Brazil, common and preferred shares in state oil company
Petroleo Brasileiro SA jumped 4.6 percent and 3.4
percent, respectively, after Bank of America elevated its rating
on the stock to "buy" from "neutral."
    That accounted for over a third of the Bovespa's 1.17
percent gain and followed gains of over 8 percent in each share
class on Wednesday, following strong quarterly profit figures.

    The MSCI Emerging Markets Latin America Index, which puts
together a cross-section of large- and mid-cap stocks from five
major economies in the region, climbed 1.99 percent.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1505 GMT:  
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1158.23      1.27     -1.27
 MSCI LatAm                    2875.33      1.99     -0.32
 Brazil Bovespa               85253.48      1.17     11.59
 Mexico IPC                   46769.28      1.03     -5.24
 Chile IPSA                    5679.79      0.28      2.07
 Chile IGPA                   28642.21      0.25      2.36
 Argentina MerVal             28966.85      3.79     -3.65
 Colombia IGBC                12318.76        -1      8.34
 Venezuela IBC                17689.70     -0.27   1300.45
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
 Brazil real                    3.5587      0.99     -6.90
 Mexico peso                   19.3350      1.31      1.88
 Chile peso                      625.5      1.25     -1.73
 Colombia peso                 2821.64      1.43      5.68
 Peru sol                        3.278      0.52     -1.25
 Argentina peso                22.7200      0.00    -18.13
 Argentina peso                  23.15      0.00    -16.93

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery; additional reporting by Jorge
Otaola in Buenos Aires
Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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