EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks gain on hope Fed may delay rate hike
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks rose on Thursday on bets the U.S. Federal Reserve may take longer to raise rates while the European Central Bank prepares to launch a massive bond-buying program. Prospects that global liquidity may remain ample throughout the year encouraged investors to buy riskier, higher-yielding emerging market assets despite volatility in the price of oil and other commodities. Some investors bet the Fed may avoid raising rates this year after data on the U.S. mid-Atlantic region from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showed business activity weakened more-than-expected in January. "Prospects for more European (monetary) stimulus and for interest rates to remain low for longer in the United States are favorable to the Brazilian market," said Alfredo Barbutti, chief economist with BGC brokerage in Brazil. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index climbed 1.4 percent, boosted by a 9 percent jump in shares of state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Petrobras, as the Brazilian oil firm is known, said after markets closed on Wednesday that it intends to release its third-quarter earnings on Jan. 27. The results have been delayed since November as PricewaterhouseCoopers refused to certify Petrobras' accounts after a corruption scandal raised questions about the value of its assets. Other Latin American bourses posted more modest gains, with Mexico's IPC stock index gaining 0.3 percent after data showed domestic consumer spending rose 1.1 percent in October from September, suggesting the economy is gaining traction. "Mexican economic growth has accelerated materially from its subdued 2013-2014 pace, and should register a very solid year in 2015," said Bill Adamns, senior international economist for PNC Financial Services Group. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1520 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging 960.69 0.52 -0.06 Markets MSCI LatAm 2634.53 0.21 -3.62 Brazil Bovespa 48329.21 1.43 -3.36 Mexico IPC 41004.94 0.05 -4.96 Chile IPSA 3756.22 0.19 -2.46 Chile IGPA 18489.46 0.16 -2.02 Argentina MerVal 8567.1 1.68 -0.14 Colombia IGBC 10581.26 0.11 -9.05 Peru IGRA 13644.96 1.06 -7.77 Venezuela IBC 3929 0 1.82 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.6325 -0.45 0.95 Mexico peso 14.6132 -0.87 0.90 Chile peso 625.5 0.08 -3.05 Colombia peso 2408.14 0.70 -0.84 Peru sol 2.999 -0.10 -0.67 Argentina peso 8.5950 0.00 -0.52 (interbank) Argentina peso 13.6 0.15 2.94 (parallel) (Reporting by Walter Brandimarte; editing by Andrew Hay)
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