EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks rise after Kroton says considering Estácio deal
(Updates prices, adds Mexico and Colombia) By Bruno Federowski and Paula Arend Laier SAO PAULO, June 2 (Reuters) - Brazilian equities rose on Thursday after Kroton Educacional SA said it was considering a purchase of rival Estácio Participações SA, boosting shares of both education companies. Kroton, the world's biggest private education company, jumped by as much as 14 percent. Estácio shot up more than 20 percent, its biggest daily gain since October 2008. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index outperformed markets in the region, rising 1.8 percent. Mexico's peso fell to another three-month low while Colombia's peso posted its biggest rise in nearly a month. Hopes that Brazil's interim President Michel Temer could have an easier time gathering lawmaker support than his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, also fostered appetite for Brazilian assets. The lower house of Congress, in a first round vote on Thursday, approved a constitutional amendment that would free up about 120 billion reais in funds currently earmarked for special purposes. Backed by Temer's government, the lower house also sanctioned pay raises for military and civil servants that will cost about 4 billion reais ($1.1 billion) this year. "This points in the opposite direction of fiscal austerity but could also increase governability. In net terms, it might not be so negative," said SLW brokerage trader João Paulo de Gracia Corrêa. In Mexico, the peso tumbled for a second day after labor market data from the United States, its biggest trading partner, suggested the U.S. economy is regaining momentum and boosted chances for another hike in U.S. interest rates this summer. The peso fell to as low as 18.674 per dollar, its lowest since mid-February, when the central bank intervened to support the currency. Colombia's peso, on the other hand, jumped 0.9 percent, its biggest increase since mid-May, lifted by higher oil prices. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1957 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 809.47 0.28 1.65 MSCI LatAm 2062.54 0.87 11.74 Brazil Bovespa 49884.45 1.78 15.07 Mexico IPC 45515.13 -0.09 5.90 Chile IPSA 3921.90 -0.2 6.57 Chile IGPA 19337.25 -0.14 6.53 Argentina MerVal 12709.40 0.66 8.86 Colombia IGBC 9695.06 0.29 13.43 Venezuela IBC 15521.19 -0.22 6.40 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.5856 0.03 9.16 Mexico peso 18.6550 -0.72 -8.27 Chile peso 689.6 0.20 2.83 Colombia peso 3085.25 0.89 2.65 Peru sol 3.371 -0.18 1.26 Argentina peso (interbank) 13.8975 0.41 -7.05 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.31 0.83 -0.28 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Paula Arend Laier, additional reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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