March 11, 2019 / 2:53 PM / 6 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX, stocks rise, Brazil gains on pension reform hopes

    By Aaron Saldanha
    March 11 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies and stocks
gained broadly on Monday, with Brazilian assets rising on
investor optimism about the progress in pension reform in Latin
America's largest economy.
    An overhaul of the country's bloated pension system, which
President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday cannot take all year, is
eagerly anticipated by investors.  
    "We're likely going to see more public campaigning by the
president, which is the most effective way to put pressure on
Congress to garner the votes and prevent the reform from being
watered down too much," Dirk Willer, Citi research head of
emerging market strategy, and Kenneth Lam, emerging markets FX
strategist, said in a note.
    House Speaker Rodrigo Maia may start forming a
constitutional and justice committee Monday amid hopes that it
could be ready to review the pension reform proposal by
     With a 0.6 percent gain in Brazil's real, the
currency was on course for its best one-day showing in nearly a
month, while local 10-year bonds yielded 8.87
percent, after touching a two and a half-week low.
    Sao Paulo-traded stocks were 1.7 percent higher,
aided by gains across the board, and were set to notch their
best day in nearly a month if the gains hold.
    State-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) was
among the biggest supports for the index. Its common shares
 and preferred shares followed oil prices
higher, rising 3.7 percent and 3.6 percent,
    Preferred shares of Azul SA flew up 6.4 percent
after the airline said it intends to fork out $105 million for  
assets of rival Avianca Brasil, which was headed to court to
face aircraft lessors.
    Mexican stocks edged up 0.7 percent while the peso
 firmed 0.4 percent and was on course for its best
performance in more than two weeks.
    Chile's peso rose 0.7 percent, supported by a firm
price for copper, the country's top export. Stocks in
Chile rose 0.8 percent.         
    Colombian stocks tacked on 0.8 percent, with energy
firm Ecopetrol SA adding 1.3 percent on the back of
stronger oil prices.
    Argentina's peso was 0.8 percent firmer, while local
stocks rose 2.4 percent on heightened risk appetite.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1423 GMT
 Stock indexes                                   daily %
                                     Latest       change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                 1040.56      1.01
 MSCI LatAm                            2780.07      1.86
 Brazil Bovespa                       96934.48      1.65
 Mexico IPC                           41867.86      0.68
 Chile IPSA                            5317.35       0.8
 Argentina MerVal                     33821.42      2.43
 Colombia IGBC                        12407.76      0.77
 Currencies                                      daily %
 Brazil real                            3.8417      0.73
 Mexico peso                           19.4050      0.46
 Chile peso                              668.8      0.30
 Colombia peso                         3154.97      0.52
 Peru sol                                    -         -
 Argentina peso (interbank)            40.5600      1.58
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Jeffrey
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