EMERGING MARKETS-Latin American shares gain as oil hits 6-month high
(Updates prices) 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 0.21 percent as benchmark indexes in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia advanced. Non-voting shares in Brazil's state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA rose more than 3 percent, boosted by a 3 percent increase in oil prices. Oil hit six-month highs on Monday on worries about global supply outages and as long-time bear Goldman Sachs sounded more positive on the market. Crude futures have rallied for most of the past two weeks from a combination of Nigerian, Venezuelan and other outages, declining U.S. production and virtually frozen inflows of Canadian crude after wildfires in Alberta's oil sands region. In foreign exchange markets, the Brazilian real erased some of Friday's losses and outperformed its peers with an increase of 0.56 percent against the U.S. dollar. The central bank stayed clear from intervening as the currency remained at 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. In Mexico, the IPC stock index gained 0.97 percent, but the peso weakened 0.40 percent to 18.23 pesos per dollar. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 797.86 0.22 0.24 MSCI LatAm 2162.26 0.21 17.92 Brazil Bovespa 51843.14 0.08 19.60 Mexico IPC 45841.05 0.97 6.66 Chile IPSA 3987.06 -0.39 8.34 Chile IGPA 19597.12 -0.33 7.96 Argentina MerVal 13183.48 0.47 12.92 Colombia IGBC 10069.57 0.76 17.81 Venezuela IBC 15375.59 -0.04 5.40 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.5025 0.56 13.04 Mexico peso 18.2335 -0.40 -5.50 Chile peso 694 -0.46 2.26 Colombia peso 3027.1 -1.19 4.70 Peru sol 3.3299 0.18 2.53 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.1350 0.16 -8.15 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.63 0.00 -2.46 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Paul Simao and Dan Grebler)
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