EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, currencies mostly slip on Fed rate hike worries
(Updates currencies, adds table) By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Latin American stock markets rose on Monday after comments by a Federal Reserve official allayed concerns over a possible U.S. interest rate increase. Fed Governor Lael Brainard said on Monday the U.S. central bank must be careful not to remove its monetary stimulus too quickly due to potential weakness in the labor market and risks of foreign economic downturns. While Brainard did not comment on the specific timing of future interest rate policy, the comments suggested she was holding firm in arguing for caution. In a volatile session, the Mexican peso weakened to its weakest levels in more than two months, but pared losses after Brainard's remarks to close at 18.81 per dollar, a gain of 0.57 percent compared to Friday's close. The Brazilian real gained 0.95 percent to close at 3.24 per greenback. While some stock markets in the region dropped, Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 1.03 percent. Mexico's IPC index and Argentina's MerVal also rose. Common shares of Petróleo Brasileiro SA provided a sizeable boost to the index after the state-controlled oil company's output hit a record high in August, while shares of Vale SA also rose, offering support to the benchmark index. JPMorgan analysts improved their recommendation for U.S.-listed stocks in the miner to "overweight" and increased their price target to $7 from $5. In Mexico shares of Cemex, one of the world's largest cement producers, rose 2.16 percent after the company announced it would sell a U.S. plant for $400 million in a move to reduce its total debt. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2020 GMT: Stock Latest daily % YTD % indexes change change MSCI Emerging Markets 889.41 -2.19 12 MSCI LatAm 2377.57 -0.23 29.94 Brazil Bovespa 58586.11 1.01 35.15 Mexico IPC 46720.96 0.56 8.71 Chile IPSA 4067.89 -0.61 10.53 Chile IGPA 20230.95 -0.57 11.46 Argentina MerVal 16047.58 0.45 37.45 Colombia IGBC 10239.92 -0.82 19.80 Venezuela IBC 12030.39 0.18 -17.53 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by James Dalgleish and Grant McCool)
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