May 12, 2017 / 10:40 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazilian stocks up, Mexico says NAFTA talks set for Aug.

 (Updates prices, adds JBS development, NAFTA talks)
    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, May 12 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks rose on
Friday for the fourth straight day as Petroleo Brasileiro SA
 shares hit an 11-week high after the state-controlled
oil company reported its strongest operating profit ever.
    Preferred shares of Petrobras, as the company is known,
jumped as much as 5.1 percent after earnings before interest,
tax, depreciation and amortization rose 19 percent to 25.254
billion reais ($8.1 billion), beating the consensus forecast by
1.38 billion reais.
    Shares of Petrobras closed up 4.25 percent to close at 15.45
    Petrobras and health insurer Qualicorp accounted for about
half of the 1.01 percent gain for Brazil's benchmark Bovespa
stock index. The move also reflected a recent pickup in
appetite for emerging market assets, tracking recent strength in
the euro and global weakness in the U.S. dollar.
    Meanwhile, shares of leading Brazilian meatpacker JBS fell
as Brazilian police investigate potential fraud in loans by
state development bank BNDES, according to federal court
documents released on Friday.
    In Mexico, Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he
expected negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) with the United States and Canada would start towards
the end of August.
    Guajardo will travel to Washington next week to meet with
his newly confirmed U.S. counterpart.
    Elsewhere, Peru's central bank official Adrian Armas told
reporters on a conference call on Friday that the country's 
economic growth in March would be "quite low," after growing at
the weakest pace in more than two years in February.

    U.S. President Donald Trump's unexpected firing of FBI head
James Comey fueled expectations of delays to the implementation
of his pledges of heavy spending and tax cuts, which had stoked
bets on a fast pace of U.S. interest rate hikes in coming
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2100 GMT:
 Stock indexes         Latest     daily % change  YTD % change
 MSCI Emerging           1002.37             0.2         16.25
 MSCI LatAm              2717.66            1.47         16.11
 Brazil Bovespa         68221.94            1.01         13.27
 Mexico IPC             49426.08           -0.21          8.29
 Chile IPSA              4851.94            0.65         16.88
 Chile IGPA             24331.46            0.66         17.35
 Argentina MerVal       21502.41            0.35         27.10
 Colombia IGBC          10757.00            1.63          6.21
 Venezuela IBC          60658.38            0.22         91.32
 Currencies            Latest     daily % change  YTD % change
 Brazil real              3.1229            0.01          4.04
 Mexico peso             18.7930            0.27         10.38
 Chile peso                671.2            0.09         -0.07
 Colombia peso              2920            0.20          2.79
 Peru sol                  3.269            0.55          4.44
 Argentina peso          15.4300            0.13          2.88
 Argentina peso            15.88            0.25          5.92

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and
Diane Craft)
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