EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil currency gains before anti-government rally

viernes 11 de marzo de 2016 19:11 GYT

(Updates with final prices)
    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, March 11 (Reuters) - Brazil's currency rose on
Friday, two days ahead of mass demonstrations asking for
President Dilma Rousseff's ouster, and ended the week on
politically-driven gains.
    State prosecutors are seeking the arrest of former President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on charges of money laundering and
identity fraud, heightening the pressure on Rousseff, his
    Rousseff is currently facing impeachment proceedings in
Congress, an event which some traders believe could eventually
open the way for a recovery in Latin America's biggest economy.
    Analysts singled out anti-government rallies planned for
this weekend as a litmus test of public support for the
impeachment if the turnout is strong.
    Traders also bought reais ahead of the Brazilian Democratic
Movement Party's national convention on Saturday. The party,
known as the PMDB, could decide to split with Rousseff's
coalition, eliminating another barrier to her
    "This is going to be a pivotal weekend on the political
front," said José Carlos Amado, a trader with Spinelli brokerage
in São Paulo.
    Shares of state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro
SA, the center of a wide corruption scandal, rose for
a 10th consecutive session, its longest stretch of gains since
July 2014.
    The Brazilian real posted its third weekly gain in a
row after its best performance in eight years last week on news
that Lula was detained for questioning by federal police. The
currency moved below 3.60 per U.S. dollar on Friday for the
first time since August 2015, closing at 3.5910.
    Despite the rally, the central bank said it will not reduce
the stock of currency swaps, contracts which offer protection
from currency devaluations, a senior member of the government's
economic team told Reuters on Friday. 
    Boosted by higher oil prices, Mexico's peso currency rose by
0.62 percent, to 17.70 peso per dollar, for a weekly rise of
0.42 percent.
    Key Latin American stock indexes at 1030 GMT:
 Stock indexes                               daily %    YTD %
                                              change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets               800.91     1.29     0.85
 MSCI LatAm                         2080.59     1.45    13.71
 Brazil Bovespa                    49638.68     0.14    14.51
 Mexico IPC                        44617.74     0.63     3.82
 Chile IPSA                         3839.83     0.15     4.34
 Chile IGPA                        18815.72     0.20     3.66
 Argentina MerVal                  13051.54    -0.91    11.79
 Colombia IGBC                      9655.15     0.43    12.96
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Andrea Ricci and
Leslie Adler)