EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks rise on election poll, Santander Brasil soars
SAO PAULO, April 29 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks rose the most in nearly two weeks on Tuesday while the nation's currency returned early gains after an election poll showed voter support was declining for President Dilma Rousseff ahead of October's election. The broader MSCI Latin American stock index was also up, with stock markets in Mexico and Chile posting modest gains. Voter support for Rousseff has fallen on concerns about the economy and a scandal surrounding state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, a new poll showed on Tuesday. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index added to early gains after the poll was released, led by shares of state-run companies. Many investors have criticized the Rousseff administration for using state firms to further her macroeconomic agenda at the expense of minority shareholders. "Every poll in which Dilma doesn't advance ... ends up supporting the stock market," said Fausto Gouveia, an economist with Legan Asset in Sao Paulo. Gouveia warned that it was too early to make a call on the election's outcome, but said if Rousseff's popularity continued to decline, the market should continue to rally, bolstered by stop-loss operations among short-sellers. Units of lender Banco Santander Brasil SA soared 16.8 percent after Spanish parent company Banco Santander SA said it launched an offer to buy 25 percent of the Brazilian bank it does not already own. Other stock markets in the region advanced as well, with Mexico's IPC index erasing two days of losses and Chile's IPSA index capping a seven-day losing streak. In currency markets, the Brazilian real traded flat, giving up an early advance against the dollar following the election poll. The Colombian and Mexican pesos both strengthened slightly against the dollar, while Chile's peso weakened following lower prices for copper, the country's main export. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1522 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1000.52 0.75 -0.95 MSCI LatAm 3273.13 1.61 0.64 Brazil Bovespa 52055.25 1.31 1.06 Mexico IPC 40455.8 0.8 -5.32 Chile IPSA 3841 0.74 3.83 Chile IGPA 18900.05 0.59 3.69 Argentina MerVal 6853.86 0.93 27.13 Colombia IGBC 13431.67 0.49 2.76 Peru IGRA 15121.4 0.18 -4.01 Venezuela IBC 2334.04 -0.6 -14.71 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.2210 0.17 6.11 Mexico peso 13.0983 0.17 -0.52 Chile peso 560.9 -0.02 -6.20 Colombia peso 1933.21 0.28 -0.06 Peru sol 2.806 0.07 -0.46 Argentina peso (interbank) 8.0000 0.03 -18.84 Argentina peso (parallel) 10.57 1.23 -5.39 (Reporting by Asher Levine and Priscila Jordao; Writing by Asher Levine; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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