EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil assets jump as protests against Rousseff in 2nd day

jueves 17 de marzo de 2016 12:46 GYT
 

By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, March 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's stocks and currency
jumped on Thursday after the release of a taped conversation
between President Dilma Rousseff and former President Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva roiled the country's political landscape
and sparked a second straight day of mass demonstrations.
    Lula was sworn in as Rousseff's chief of staff earlier on
Thursday following a clash between protesters and Workers Party
supporters outside the presidential palace. 
    However, soon after the swearing-in ceremony, a federal
judge in Brasilia issued an injunction to suspend the
appointment, citing the risk that the move would derail a
judicial investigation. 
    The tapped phone call bolstered opposition claims that
Lula's nomination as Rousseff's chief of staff was more of an
effort to shield him from a money laundering probe and sparked
demands for her ouster. 
    "The probability of President Rousseff finishing her term is
minimal," analysts with Guide Investimentos wrote in a client
note.
    Lula's appointment as a minister would provide him immunity
from prosecution except from Brazil's Supreme Court. That could
give him time to garner support in Congress, where lawmakers
will vote on Rousseff's impeachment. 
    Many traders believe a change in government would be the
first step in recovering investors' trust in Latin America's
largest economy.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index jumped over 6
percent, eyeing its biggest daily gain since early 2009.
State-controlled companies were among the biggest gainers, with
shares in state-controlled Banco do Brasil SA jumping
by as much as 20 percent.
    Embraer SA was one of the three Brazilian
companies to buck the bullish trend, falling 3.1 percent. The
Wall Street Journal reported that a sales consultant told
prosecutors in Brazil he believes top officials at the
planemaker, including CEO Frederico Curado, knew of illicit
payments related to the sale of military aircraft to the
Dominican Republic. 
    The Brazilian real jumped 3.3 percent, leading the
hefty gains in major Latin American currencies.
    The Chilean peso shot up to its highest against the
U.S. dollar since August 2015 after the U.S. Federal Reserve
projected two rate increases this year, half the number seen in
December. A slower pace of U.S. policy tightening would benefit
higher-risk emerging market assets, which generally offer higher
returns. 
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1640 GMT:
 Stock indexes                      Latest     Daily    YTD
                                                pct     pct
                                              change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                819.92     3.63   -0.37
 MSCI LatAm                         2,133.19     7.61    8.33
 Brazil Bovespa                    50,633.63     6.01   16.80
 Mexico IPC                        45,451.53     1.56    5.76
 Chile IPSA                         3,889.87     0.74    5.70
 Chile IGPA                        19,056.85     0.74    4.99
 Argentina MerVal                  12,965.63     3.38   11.05
 Colombia IGBC                      9,593.76     0.76   12.24
 Venezuela IBC                     14,988.37     1.43    2.74
                                                             
 Currencies                         Latest     Daily    YTD
                                                pct     pct
                                              change   change
 Brazil real                          3.6170     3.31    9.12
 Mexico peso                         17.3915     1.16   -0.93
 Chile peso                           670.28     2.38    5.88
 Colombia peso                       3,071.1     2.90    3.20
 Peru sol                              3.379    -0.23    1.04
 Argentina peso (interbank)          14.6250    -0.03  -11.23
                                                       
 Argentina peso (parallel)             15.46    -0.26   -7.70
                                                       
 
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski, additional reporting by Paula
Arend Laier; editing by G Crosse)