EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks rise on investor hope for pro-market finmin
MEXICO CITY, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks boosted Latin American markets on Friday, surging to a three-week high amid investor speculation the government will name a market-friendly finance minister to juice up stagnant growth. The Bovespa rose 2.1 percent to 54,508.70 as reports speculated that President Dilma Rousseff was considering a private sector executive for the post. The move would signal a shift away from the leftist, interventionist policies that many blame for Brazil's weak economic growth in recent years. Respected Brazilian banker Joaquim Levy is among three finalists to become the country's next finance minister, and Rousseff could announce her pick later Friday, a government official told Reuters on Friday. Brazil's real also rallied, gaining 1.88 percent to 2.5246 per U.S. dollar as investors hailed the decision of China's central bank to cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than two years to boost its cooling economy. The People's Bank of China said it was cutting one-year benchmark lending rates by 40 basis points to 5.6 percent. China is a top customer for Brazilian raw materials. China's move came after European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said "excessively low" inflation had to be raised quickly by whatever means necessary, kindling expectations the ECB will move to stimulate the euro zone economy. Mexico's peso gained 0.32 percent to 13.6065 per dollar, despite data on Friday that showed the economy slowed in the third quarter on weak domestic demand and uneven industrial output. Latin American stocks and currencies at 1630 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI LatAm 3,095.87 3.1 -6.19 Brazil Bovespa 54,695.37 2.42 6.19 Mexico IPC 44,887.77 1.53 5.06 Chile IPSA 4,001.99 0.65 8.19 Chile IGPA 19,473.45 0.63 6.84 Argentina MerVal 9,934.05 2.7 84.27 Colombia IGBC 12,965.59 0.85 -0.81 Peru IGRA 15,309.54 0.81 -2.82 Venezuela IBC 2,908.08 0.39 6.27 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.5236 1.88 -6.61 Mexico peso 13.6065 0.32 -4.24 Chile peso 593.4000 0.74 -11.51 Colombia peso 2140.2500 0.78 -9.73 Peru sol 2.9150 0.21 -4.25 Argentina peso 8.5150 0.00 -23.75 (interbank) Argentina peso 13.3500 1.12 -25.09 (parallel) (Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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