EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, currencies inch up ahead of Yellen speech
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, June 6 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies inched up on Monday as commodity prices rose ahead of comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Emerging market assets had jumped on Friday after tepid U.S. labour market figures cast doubt over the prospect of a U.S. interest rate increase in the short term. A slower pace of monetary policy tightening could foster demand for assets from Latin American countries, which offer higher returns. After recently signaling a hike could come as soon as June, Yellen will speak on the economic outlook and monetary policy at 1630 GMT. "Markets are clearly interested in any change in her message from two Fridays ago suggesting that higher rates might be appropriate in the 'coming months'," Scotiabank analysts wrote in a client note. Chile's peso strengthened for a third consecutive day, tracking a rise in prices of copper, the country's main export. Crude oil prices jumped to a fresh seven-month high after attacks on Nigerian oil infrastructure. Brazil's stocks and real currency rose, though concerns over corruption scandals implicating senior members of interim President Michel Temer's administration lingered. Stock market gains were capped by a drop in shares of education company Kroton SA. Days after Kroton made a preliminary all-stock deal for Estácio Participações SA , smaller rival Ser Educacional placed a non-binding merger bid for the same company. Shares of Brazilian Suzano Papel e Celulosa SA rose 0.8 percent after the pulp and paper producer said it resumed normal output on Saturday after a fire halted operations at its plant in the city of Suzano, Sao Paulo. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1450 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 826.41 1.25 2.78 MSCI LatAm 2128.19 1.15 14.99 Brazil Bovespa 50840.67 0.44 17.28 Mexico IPC 46077.62 0.33 7.21 Chile IPSA 3976.91 0.53 8.06 Chile IGPA 19575.21 0.48 7.84 Argentina MerVal 12835.33 0.34 9.94 Colombia IGBC 9732.91 0.6 13.87 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.5117 0.36 12.40 Mexico peso 18.5740 0.09 -7.24 Chile peso 679.7 0.56 4.41 Colombia peso 3017.36 0.05 5.03 Peru sol 3.3139 0.64 3.02 Argentina peso (interbank) 13.7500 0.80 -5.58 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Additional reporting by Paula Arend Laier; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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