EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks track global markets higher
SAO PAULO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks advanced on Wednesday after four days of weak performance as investors reacted to encouraging U.S. economic data and picked up cheap shares. The region's currencies were mostly stronger against the dollar following recent losses that were sparked by a decline in prices for oil and other commodities. Data released Monday showed the U.S. services sector grew more than expected in November, helping support a gain in U.S. shares. Latin American markets, battered in recent days by a drop in risk appetite, followed suit, with investors picking up shares of the most widely traded firms. Brazil's Bovespa stock index snapped a five-session losing streak, led by shares in state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which tend to attract a large number of foreign investors. Petrobras shares have lost over 20 percent of their value this year as the company deals with political uncertainty, declining oil prices and a developing corruption scandal. Mexico's IPC index rebounded from six-week lows, led by shares of retail giant Walmex. The Brazilian real posted its biggest gain in a week as traders eyed a likely 50 basis point hike in Brazil's benchmark Selic interest rate, expected to be announced by the central bank after the market close. "The (currency) outlook is still a bit undefined in the short term," said Mario Battistel, head of currency trading at brokerage Fair in Sao Paulo. "We'll have more signals of this with the central bank decision, but we will also need to watch other factors, such as the bank's meeting minutes and changes to fiscal policy." Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1844 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change MSCI Emerging Markets 985.42 0.09 -1.82 MSCI LatAm 2,912.67 1.31 -10.18 Brazil Bovespa 52,317.45 1.37 1.57 Mexico IPC 43,296.23 0.67 1.33 Chile IPSA 3,952.71 0.1 6.85 Chile IGPA 19,301.17 0.08 5.89 Argentina MerVal 9,520.779 1.51 76.60 Colombia IGBC 11,909.65 1.07 -8.89 Peru IGRA 15,090.52 0.22 -4.21 Venezuela IBC 2,955.08 -0.18 7.98 Currencies Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change Brazil real 2.5552 0.72 -7.76 Mexico peso 14.0985 0.05 -7.58 Chile peso 610.2 0.62 -13.78 Colombia peso 2287.3 0.38 -15.53 Peru sol 2.944 -0.17 -5.13 Argentina peso 8.5400 0.00 -23.98 (interbank) Argentina peso 12.97 0.23 -22.90 (parallel) (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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