EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks, currency rise on local politics, austerity measures
(Updates with closing prices) By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, May 24 (Reuters) - Brazil's stocks and currency rose slightly on Tuesday after a minister accused of seeking to hamper a corruption probe stepped down, while traders cheered the announcement of austerity measures by interim President Michel Temer. Romero Juca's resignation as planning minister on Monday was seen by traders as a swift response by Temer's center-right government to its first major scandal, which helped drive Brazilian markets lower on Monday. Excerpts from a taped conversation showed Juca agreed on the need for a "national pact" to limit the graft investigation, unleashing outrage two weeks after Temer took charge from leftist President Dilma Rousseff. Also helping brighten the mood was the announcement of measures, including a proposed constitutional amendment, that would automatically limit growth in public spending. Shares of Petróleo Brasileiro SA rose 0.35 percent, lifting the benchmark Bovespa stock index. Stocks of Petrobras, as the state-controlled oil company is known, often track investors' mood toward the government. A 5.3 percent drop in shares of state-controlled lender Banco do Brasil SA, however, limited gains for the benchmark index, which closed up just 0.03 percent. Temer said he would consider closing a sovereign wealth fund that owns about 2 billion reais ($563 million) in Banco do Brasil equity, possibly selling the stock in financial markets to raise funds. Brazil's real strengthened 0.19 percent, outperforming most of its peers in Latin America. Mexico's peso rose 0.21 percent as an increase in commodity prices boosted the appetite for assets among exporters of basic products. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2105 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily pct YTD change pct change MSCI Emerging Markets 787.66 -0.12 -0.66 MSCI LatAm 2,065.84 0.15 12.73 Brazil Bovespa 49,345.19 0.03 13.83 Mexico IPC 45,497.46 0.58 5.86 Chile IPSA 3,955.47 0.16 7.48 Chile IGPA 19,511.87 0.32 7.49 Argentina MerVal 12,363.00 -0.89 5.89 Colombia IGBC 9,780.42 -0.45 14.43 Venezuela IBC 15,236.19 -0.22 4.44 Currencies Latest Daily pct YTD change pct change Brazil real 3.5755 0.19 10.39 Mexico peso 18.480 0.21 -6.76 Chile peso 695.2 -0.14 2.09 Colombia peso 3,063.75 -0.07 3.44 Peru sol 3.346 -0.06 2.03 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.0400 -0.39 -7.53 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.61 0.07 -2.33 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Additional reporting by Paula Arend Laier; Editing by Chris Reese and Dan Grebler)
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