EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks mostly rise on thin trading volumes
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Most Latin American stocks inched up on Monday, supported by higher crude prices and expectations of low U.S. interest rates, though trading volumes were thin due to the Labor Day holiday in the United States. Surprisingly weak U.S. jobs data cast doubt on Friday over the possibility of rate hikes this year, boosting demand for high-yielding emerging market assets. The figures seemed to contradict recent comments by key Federal Reserve policymakers, who have repeatedly stressed that the U.S. central bank could tighten policy as soon as this month. Higher oil prices also supported demand for shares of oil companies, with stocks of Brazil's state-owned Petróleo Brasileiro SA the biggest boost to the Bovespa benchmark index. Nevertheless, Brazil's real currency slipped on concerns new President Michel Temer could struggle to pass austerity measures in Congress even after the impeachment of his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff. Shares in meatpacker JBS SA dropped over 4 percent, leading losses in the index. Federal police questioned on Friday the company's Chief Executive Wesley Batista about an investment by pension funds in pulp maker Eldorado Brasil SA, on whose board Batista sits. Miner Vale SA also dropped, tracking a decline in China-listed iron ore contracts .IO62-CNI=SI. UBS analysts led by Andreas Bokkenheuser downgraded to "sell" from "neutral" their recommendation for U.S.-listed Vale shares, betting on lower iron ore prices during the fourth quarter. Shares of Oi SA, which are not part of the index, posted their best daily gain in a month. The telecom provider is expected to file its bankruptcy reorganization plan with a Rio de Janeiro court on Monday, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1545 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 910.73 1.24 13.28 MSCI LatAm 2453.49 0.04 34.02 Brazil Bovespa 59730.41 0.19 37.79 Mexico IPC 47929.53 0.3 11.52 Chile IPSA 4144.36 0.1 12.61 Chile IGPA 20561.37 0.09 13.28 Argentina MerVal 15963.84 -0.01 36.73 Colombia IGBC 10257.61 -0.06 20.01 Venezuela IBC 11880.32 0.31 -18.56 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.2737 -0.66 20.57 Mexico peso 18.5480 0.28 -7.11 Chile peso 673.2 -0.25 5.42 Colombia peso 2935.22 0.00 7.97 Peru sol 3.397 -0.41 0.50 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.9600 0.23 -13.22 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.33 0.39 -6.91 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Alan Crosby)
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