EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's currency firms after government posts primary surplus
(Updates with afternoon prices, news from Brazil) SAO PAULO, May 30 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real gained on Monday after the country's government recorded a primary budget surplus in April that exceeded market expectations, easing some concerns about its deficit. Brazil's currency rose 0.9 percent after weakening more than 2 percent last week. After posting a deficit in March, Brazil's central government reported a primary budget surplus of 9.751 billion reais ($2.72 billion) for April thanks to higher tax revenues and a decline in subsidies. Brazil, mired in a deep recession, lost its coveted investment-grade credit rating in 2015 after years of heavy spending and steep tax breaks under now-suspended President Dilma Rousseff's administration. Interim President Michel Temer, who has replaced Rousseff as she faces an impeachment trial, has announced a series of measures aimed at reducing the budget deficit. Most other Latin American stocks and currencies seesawed in thin trading due to market holidays in the United States and Britain. The Chilean peso was down 0.7 percent. Latin American markets fell on Friday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen hinted the central bank could increase interest rates soon, reducing the allure of high-yielding bonds. Shares of state-owned lender Banco do Brasil SA rose more than 2 percent after falling to an almost three-month low on Friday. Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Monday the government is not in a hurry to sell shares owned by the country's sovereign fund, including about 2 billion reais ($557 million) in the lender's stock. Meirelles had said last week the government would consider dismantling the sovereign fund, triggering a sell-off in Banco do Brasil shares. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2000 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change MSCI Emerging Markets 807.78 -0.06 1.78 MSCI LatAm 2,064.53 0.29 12.5 Brazil Bovespa 48,993.48 -0.12 13.02 Mexico IPC 46,017.21 -0.23 7.07 Chile IPSA 3,949.21 0.05 7.31 Chile IGPA 19,478.19 -0.01 7.31 Argentina MerVal 12,718.33 -0.07 8.93 Colombia IGBC 9,674.23 -0.02 13.18 Venezuela IBC 15,453.26 0.67 5.93 Currencies Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change Brazil real 3.5774 0.897 10.33 Mexico peso 18.4725 -0.14 -6.73 Chile peso 690.5 -0.70 2.78 Colombia peso 3,061.3 0.22 3.53 Peru sol 3.364 -0.42 1.49 Argentina peso (interbank) 13.9300 -0.07 -6.80 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.59 0.62 -2.19 (Reporting by Cesar Bianconi and Patrícia Duarte; Editing by Dan Grebler and Paul Simao)
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