EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets climb on ECB move
SAO PAULO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies and stocks were mostly higher on Thursday, with the biggest gains coming from Brazilian assets, after the European Central Bank announced a large-scale bond-buying program to help support the eurozone economy. The MSCI Latin American stock index rose for a third straight session to its highest level in more than six weeks. The ECB agreed on Thursday to embark on a quantitative easing program, which with its existing programs will pump 60 billion euros a month into the eurozone economy from this March until September of next year. The additional liquidity provided by the program is expected to increase demand for riskier, higher-yielding investments such as those in Latin America. Brazil's currency, the real, was one of the biggest gainers in the region on Thursday, rising about 1.5 percent against the dollar. The currency is trading at its strongest level since early December, boosted by expectations that stronger fiscal discipline may ward off a credit downgrade. Brazil's Bovespa stock index rallied for the third straight day, driven by the most widely traded banking and commodities shares. Shares of the companies, which include state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA and lender Itau Unibanco Holding SA, tend to attract a large share of foreign investors and often mirror global risk appetite. Preferred shares of Brazilian telecom Oi SA were up more than 20 percent in a sign of growing confidence that shareholders at merger partner Portugal Telecom SGPS would approve an asset sale later in the day. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1451 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 980.97 0.5 2.07 MSCI LatAm 2739.86 0.78 -0.34 Brazil Bovespa 49513.58 0.59 -0.99 Mexico IPC 42616.77 0.3 -1.23 Chile IPSA 3839.04 0.87 -0.31 Chile IGPA 18812.63 0.69 -0.31 Argentina MerVal 8797.92 1.43 2.55 Colombia IGBC 10599.86 0.61 -8.89 Peru IGRA 13403.2 0.06 -9.40 Venezuela IBC 3946.06 0.08 2.26 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.5688 1.45 3.45 Mexico peso 14.6938 0.40 0.34 Chile peso 625.8 0.31 -3.10 Colombia peso 2372.49 0.12 0.65 Peru sol 3.004 0.00 -0.83 Argentina peso 8.6150 0.03 -0.75 (interbank) Argentina peso 13.57 0.59 3.17 (parallel) (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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