September 17, 2018 / 9:47 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Options contracts, Petrobras boost Brazilian equities

 (Updates prices)
    SAO PAULO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark Bovespa
equities index rose nearly 1.8 percent on Monday as the expiry
of options contracts and moves in some heavily weighed stocks
offset concerns about the outcome of October's presidential
election.
    Monthly options contracts on the Bovespa expire on Monday,
which brought significant volatility to the market, particularly
in morning trade, traders said. Given the technical nature of
the gains, they said the Bovespa's rally was relatively fragile.
    While gains were evenly distributed, some particularly
heavily weighted equities helped buoy the index.
    Overall, the Bovespa climbed 1.77 percent, despite
opinion polls showing that a presidential election runoff
between the hard-right and hard-left candidates is increasingly
likely.
    "With the growth of Fernando Haddad's candidacy and Ciro
Gomes staying at the same levels, time is running out every day
for the other candidates to make the run-off," analysts at BTG
Pactual wrote in a note to clients, referring to two leftist
candidates who have spooked markets.
    One of the two is seen as increasingly likely to face the
far-right's Jair Bolsonaro in a runoff.
    Across Latin America, most currencies climbed modestly
against the dollar with the exception of the Chilean peso and
the Peruvian sol, which were flat.
    Political tensions are rising in Peru after President Martin
Vizcarra dared lawmakers to dismiss the entire cabinet late on
Sunday. Under Peru's constitution, the move could lead to
Vizcarra dissolving Congress.
    The Mexican peso strengthened 0.24 percent as investors
waited for U.S. President Donald Trump to announce his latest
plans for tariffs on Chinese imports. 
    Mexican stocks slumped 0.47 percent. Among the biggest
losers was Carlos Slim's Grupo Carso, which fell 5.91 percent
after last week's news that the conglomerate would leave the
Mexican stock exchange's leading index. 
    
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 19:59 GMT:   
  
 Stock indexes                             daily %        YTD %
                                            change       change
                               Latest               
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1016.48     -1.17       -11.21
                                                    
 MSCI LatAm                      2470.89      1.45       -13.88
                                                    
 Brazil Bovespa                 76767.77      1.77         0.48
 Mexico IPC                     49379.56     -0.47         0.05
 Argentina MerVal               31047.27      2.88         3.27
                                                    
 Colombia IGBC                  12285.44      0.14         8.05
                                                    
 Venezuela IBC                 351702.56     -4.18     27743.51
                                                               
 Currencies                                daily %        YTD %
                                            change       change
                                  Latest            
 Brazil real                      4.1260      0.97       -19.70
                                                    
 Mexico peso                     18.8505      0.24         4.50
                                                    
 Chile peso                        686.8      0.00       -10.51
                                                    
 Colombia peso                   3016.58      0.12        -1.15
 Peru sol                          3.311      0.00        -2.23
                                                    
 Argentina peso (interbank)      39.5300      0.86       -52.95
                                                    
 Argentina peso (parallel)         39.75     -1.89       -51.62
                                                    
 

 (Reporting by Paula Arend Laier and Gram Slattery; Additional
reporting by Flavia Bohone and Julia Love; editing by Grant
McCool and Tom Brown)
  
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