January 3, 2019 / 10:11 PM / 17 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies rise; Brazil stocks hit all-time high

 (Recasts throughout, updates prices)
    By Agamoni Ghosh
    Jan 3 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies propped up
against a weak dollar on Thursday, while stock markets in the
region were subdued amid a gloom for global equities but Brazil
stocks hit an all-time high on market optimism about the new
government. 
    MSCI's index for Latin American currencies
rose the most in two months led by gains in the Argentinean peso
 as dollar fell with investors seeking the perceived
safety of the Japanese yen after a shock revenue warning
from Apple Inc exacerbated concerns about a Chinese and
global economic slowdown.
    Stocks in Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index bucked
the global trend to hit a record high for the second day in a
row led by the banking and energy sector and as investors
remained upbeat about expectations for policy reform by the
country's new government headed by President Jair Bolsonaro.
    Bolsonaro's administration took office on Tuesday and was
quick to issue decrees affecting the economy, agriculture and
society, while forging closer political ties with the United
States. 
    "Implementing a liberal agenda as outlined in his
(Bolsonaro) speeches reinforces our positive outlook for the
stock market," said XP Investments in a client note.
    The Chilean stock market rose marginally helped
by a rise in shares of LATAM Airlines, but gains were
capped by a decline in the shares of lithium producer SQM
 which slid to its lowest level since mid-2017.
    Chile's peso rose about 0.4 percent but hovered
around two-month lows with the country's main export copper
sliding to its lowest levels in 1-1/2 years. 
    Mexico's peso and the stock market fell,
dragged down by worries about a slowdown in the global economy
and a warning from the central bank about inflation expectations
remaining high and subject to structural risks. 
    Banco de Mexico (Banxico) raised the reference interest rate
to 8.25 percent at the end of December from the 8 percent in
force since November, its highest level in more than a decade,
citing inflationary pressures. 
    Argentina's benchmark index fell for the first time
in five sessions led by losses in electronics manufacturer
Mirgor SACIFIA and after data showed industrial output
decreased by 13.3 percent in November compared with the same
month last year.  
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2130 GMT 
 
    
 Stock indexes                            daily %
                              Latest       change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          1044.31      1.03
                                         
 MSCI LatAm                     2492.70     -0.64
                                         
 Brazil Bovespa                75395.81      0.29
                                         
 Mexico IPC                    49545.41     -0.50
                                         
 Chile IPSA                     5254.65      0.07
                                         
 Argentina MerVal              26045.93     -0.10
                                         
 Colombia IGBC                 12139.54      0.14
                                         
                                                 
 Currencies                               daily %
                                           change
                                 Latest  
 Brazil real                     4.0775      1.00
                                         
 Mexico peso                    18.8270      0.66
                                         
 Chile peso                      660.46      0.51
                                         
 Colombia peso                  2967.47      0.33
 Peru sol                         3.287      0.18
                                         
 Argentina peso                 30.1300      0.43
 (interbank)                             
                                         
 

 (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh; Additional reporting by Paula
Arend Laier; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
  
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