EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies, stocks rise on U.S. payrolls report
By Asher Levine SAO PAULO, July 3 (Reuters) - Latin American markets rose on Thursday, tracking U.S. exchanges higher after a better-than-expected U.S. payrolls report upped expectations for global economic growth and fed risk appetite. The MSCI Latin American stock index was set to post its biggest gain in two weeks, while nearly every currency in the region strengthened against the dollar. Data on Thursday showed U.S. employment growth jumped in June while the jobless rate closed in on a six-year low, helping lead a rally in U.S. equities markets. "The fact the economy is growing should be good for equities and since the market believes the Fed will not prick bubbles soon, let's enjoy the ride," said Pedro Tuesta, an economist with 4Cast in Washington, D.C. "With higher equities and lower risk aversion, (investors) buy high yield." Higher risk assets such as Latin American stocks rose, with Mexico's IPC stock index touching its highest level in over a year. Brazil's Bovespa stock index added the most in over two weeks, driven by shares of mining firm Vale SA. The stock tends to track the outlook for global growth and attracts a large share of foreign investors due to its high liquidity. Shares of state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA fell slightly after an electoral poll showed mounting support for President Dilma Rousseff, whose policies many investors see as hostile to minority shareholder interests. The region's currencies erased early losses to trade higher as initial concern over the impact of stronger U.S. economic numbers on the outlook for higher U.S. interest rates faded. "It seems the strong U.S. dollar theme needs all the help it can possibly get," wrote Citi strategist Dirk Willer in a client note. "Just strong U.S. data is not enough. There needs to be a local issue as well weakening the currency." Brazil's real made up for the previous day's losses, while Chile's peso was further boosted by higher prices for copper, the country's main export. Colombia's peso extended a recent rally and reached its strongest level in over a year, boosted by higher-than-average inflows, according to Citi analysts. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1644 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1062.35 0.17 5.77 MSCI LatAm 3399.01 0.82 5.33 Brazil Bovespa 53525.81 0.94 3.92 Mexico IPC 43644.18 0.84 2.15 Chile IPSA 3897.19 0.24 5.35 Chile IGPA 18968.35 0.14 4.07 Argentina MerVal 8196.729 0.5 52.04 Colombia IGBC 14118.67 -0.03 8.01 Peru IGRA 16840.73 0.44 6.90 Venezuela IBC 2131.14 0.26 -22.12 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.2148 0.39 6.41 Mexico peso 12.9707 0.20 0.46 Chile peso 549 0.49 -4.17 Colombia peso 1840.74 0.89 4.96 Peru sol 2.782 0.32 0.40 Argentina peso (interbank) 8.1375 0.00 -20.22 Argentina peso (parallel) 12 0.42 -16.67 (Reporting by Asher Levine; editing by Andrew Hay)
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