EMERGING MARKETS-China data boosts Latam currencies; Petrobras up on tax change
SAO PAULO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Better than expected economic growth data from China supported Latin American currencies on Tuesday, while shares of Brazilian energy firms such as state-run oil producer Petrobras gained following a change in fuel taxes. The MSCI Latin American stock index erased most of the previous session's losses. China, Brazil's top trade partner and a major purchaser of Latin American commodity exports, reported a slowdown in the pace of economic growth on Tuesday, though the data was slightly better than many expected. That helped support risk appetite for Latin American assets and boosted the price of copper, Chile's main export. The Chilean peso strengthened its most in nearly two weeks, while the Brazilian real reversed nearly all of the previous session's decline. Yields on Brazilian interest rate futures <0#DIJ:> fell at the long end of the curve, with traders citing the government's announcement of new tax measures late on Monday aimed at shoring up the nation's fiscal accounts. Preferred shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known, gained over 6 percent after the company said it would pass higher taxes onto consumers rather than absorb them itself. Shares of ethanol producer Cosan SA rose their most since October with the biofuel expected to become more competitive in the marketplace compared to gasoline. Colombia's peso ended a four-day rally, weighed down by a further drop in already-low prices for oil, the country's top export. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1332 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 958.78 0.66 -0.4 MSCI LatAm 2648.66 1.05 -3.91 Brazil Bovespa 48507.99 1.57 -3.00 Mexico IPC 0 0 -100.00 Chile IPSA 3738.88 0.14 -2.91 Chile IGPA 18416.52 0.12 -2.41 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.6255 1.10 1.22 Mexico peso 14.613 0.03 0.90 Chile peso 626.8 0.19 -3.25 Colombia peso 2369.8 -0.75 0.77 Peru sol 3.014 0.00 -1.16 (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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