EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks, currency extend rally as Lula charged

jueves 10 de marzo de 2016 17:12 GYT
 

(New throughout, updates prices and market activity, adds other
regional currencies)
    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, March 10 (Reuters) - Brazil's stocks and currency
rose on Thursday, extending a rally fueled by hopes of political
change after prosecutors charged former President Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva in a money laundering investigation.
    Brazilian markets outperformed regional currencies, which
mostly fell alongside oil prices and after the European Central
Bank (ECB) signaled it was not likely to cut rates again.
 
    The Brazilian real revisited its six-month highs and
strengthened for the seventh session in the last eight, closing
up 1.5 percent. Trading was volatile, as some investors bet the
central bank could see the recent rally as a cue to reduce its
support for the currency.
    State investigators in Brazil suspect the family of Lula,
who was detained for questioning by federal police last week,
owned an undeclared beachfront apartment. 
    Lula's support for current President Dilma Rousseff was
widely seen as a key factor behind her re-election. Rousseff
faces impeachment proceedings in Congress. Many traders believe
the corruption probe could strengthen chances of her ouster and
thus help the crisis-ridden country recoup its credibility.
    "Political issues are the main market driver and will remain
so for a while," said Carlos Vieira, an economist with Lerosa
brokerage in São Paulo.
    The benchmark Bovespa stock index shot up as high as
2.7 percent, close to seven-month highs, and shares of
state-controlled oil company Petrobras, center of a
wide-reaching graft scandal, rose as much as 3 percent in a
volatile session marked by lower crude prices.
    Chile's peso briefly hit its highest in nearly five
months after the ECB unleashed a bold easing package but then
closed down 1.3 percent when the central bank said more rate
cuts would only come in the most extreme of circumstances.
    The peso in Mexico also fell after skimming its
highest point in three months.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2030 GMT:
 Stock indexes                             daily %     YTD %
                               Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets            791.44      0.48     -0.81
                                                    
 MSCI LatAm                      2066.27      1.66     11.08
                                                    
 Brazil Bovespa                 49705.70      2.14     14.66
                                                    
 Mexico IPC                     44367.45     -0.28      3.23
                                                    
 Chile IPSA                      3834.24      0.57      4.19
                                                    
 Chile IGPA                     18777.36      0.58      3.45
                                                    
 Argentina MerVal               13172.64     -0.72     12.83
                                                    
 Colombia IGBC                   9574.67     -0.25     12.02
                                                    
 Venezuela IBC                  16122.71     -1.08     10.52
                                                    
                                                            
 Currencies                                daily %     YTD %
                                            change    change
                                  Latest            
 Brazil real                      3.6402      1.52      7.77
                                                    
 Mexico peso                     17.8425     -0.46     -3.55
                                                    
 Chile peso                        682.8     -1.13      3.79
                                                    
 Colombia peso                    3221.1     -1.13     -1.64
                                                    
 Peru sol                         3.4251      0.32     -0.33
                                                    
 Argentina peso (interbank)      15.3300      0.31    -18.08
                                                    
 Argentina peso (parallel)         15.66      0.38     -9.74
                                                    
 
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Additional reporting by Paula
Arend Laier and Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Alistair Bell and
David Gregorio)