EMERGING MARKETS-Latin American shares gain as oil hits 6-month high
BRASILIA, May 16 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks rose on Monday as oil prices hit a six-month high and other commodities also gained, while investors waited for greater clarity on the next steps of Brazil's interim president. The MSCI Latin American stock index gained 0.4 percent as benchmark indexes in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia all advanced. Non-voting shares in Brazil's state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA rose nearly 3 percent, pushed up by a 3-percent increase in oil prices. Supply disruptions in Nigeria, Canada and Venezuela most likely pushed oil production below consumption levels in May for the first time in two years, cutting into the huge inventories that were responsible for the sharp drop in crude prices. In foreign exchange markets, the Brazilian real erased some of Friday's losses and outperformed its peers with an increase of 0.6 percent against the U.S. dollar. The central bank stayed clear from intervening as the currency remained below 3.50 per dollar. Brazil's Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles postponed to Tuesday the announcement of the next central bank chief, Treasury secretary and other members of the economic team. Meirelles, a former central bank chief, promised to unveil tough measures to close a widening fiscal gap that cost Brazil its coveted investment grade rating last year. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1600 GMT: Stock Latest daily % YTD % indexes change change MSCI Emerging Markets 798.04 0.25 0.24 MSCI LatAm 2167.20 0.44 17.92 Brazil Bovespa 52064.57 0.50 20.10 Mexico IPC 45705.29 0.67 6.35 Chile IPSA 4012.52 0.24 9.03 Chile IGPA 19706.32 0.22 8.57 Argentina MerVal 13270.10 1.13 13.66 Colombia IGBC 10103.94 1.1 18.21 Venezuela IBC 15389.40 0.05 5.49 Currencies Latest daily % YTD % change change Brazil real 3.5017 0.59 12.72 Mexico peso 18.2200 -0.33 -5.43 Chile peso 694.1 -0.48 2.25 Colombia peso 3028.97 -1.25 4.63 Peru sol 3.3299 0.18 2.53 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.1525 0.04 -8.27 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.61 0.14 -2.33 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Paul Simao)
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