July 4, 2018 / 5:23 PM / 9 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm stocks range-bound due to U.S. holiday; Eletrobras jumps

    By Bruno Federowski
    BRASILIA, July 4 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and
currencies seesawed on Wednesday as the U.S. Independence Day
holiday kept trading volumes low, while shares of Brazilian
power utility Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA soared.
    Financial markets across the region were range-bound as
traders avoided making big bets amid low liquidity after days of
strong volatility.
    Emerging markets have been battered by concerns over a
potential trade war between the United States and China, as well
as local political woes.
    "Trading volumes are very low, it will be hard to determine
a trend for the markets today," a trader at a São Paulo-based
brokerage said.
    The Mexican peso, in particular, has oscillated strongly in
recent days after leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won the
presidential election and stoked concerns of populism.
    Yet the Mexican peso inched up 0.3 percent on
Wednesday, extending a bounceback after advisors to Obrador
sought to assuage investor concerns.
    Meanwhile, shares of Eletrobras, as the Brazilian
power utility is known, soared 16 percent after the lower house
of Congress agreed to speed up approval of a bill seen as key to
the sale of some of the firm's money-losing distribution units.

    The vote on Tuesday night speeds up a project dealing with
the debt of six Eletrobras distribution units, which is seen as
a major sticking point for any potential sale.
    The benchmark Bovespa stock index was up 0.2
percent, in line with other stock markets in Latin America.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1710 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily %    YTD %
                                     Latest    change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1055.31    -0.23     -8.7
 MSCI LatAm                          2469.99     0.27    -12.9
 Brazil Bovespa                     73797.79     0.18    -3.41
 Mexico IPC                         47257.98     0.43    -4.25
 Chile IPSA                          5252.61    -0.05    -5.61
 Chile IGPA                         26628.74    -0.07    -4.83
 Argentina MerVal                   26854.98    -0.88   -10.68
 Colombia IGBC                      12364.12     0.03     8.74
 Currencies                                   daily %    YTD %
                                               change   change
 Brazil real                          3.9076    -0.34   -15.21
 Mexico peso                         19.3905     0.31     1.59
 Chile peso                           651.91    -0.36    -5.72
 Colombia peso                       2904.31     0.09     2.67
 Peru sol                              3.292    -0.18    -1.67
 Argentina peso (interbank)          28.0400    -0.14   -33.67
 Argentina peso (parallel)              28.8     0.69   -33.23
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski
Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
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