February 12, 2019 / 9:54 PM / 10 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, FX surge on global trade optimism, Brazil shines

 (Recasts, updates prices, adds strategist's quote)
    By Aaron Saldanha
    Feb 12 (Reuters) - Most Latin American stock markets rose on
Tuesday, buoyed by hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal as they more
than recovered ground lost during the previous session, while
resurgent risk appetite strengthened Latin American currencies
against a softer dollar.
    U.S. President Donald Trump said he expects to meet Chinese
President Xi Jinping to close a deal on trade at some point,
while officials from both countries expressed hopes on Monday a
new round of talks would help improve strained trade ties
between the world's top two economies.
    Dan Kawa, a strategist and partner at asset manager TAG
Investimentos, said risk appetite was helped by expectations of
improved U.S.-China trade ties and signs another partial U.S.
government shutdown may be avoided.
    In 2018, the deep fissure between the two powers, combined
with a strong dollar, hammered sentiment toward emerging markets
and led to investors heading for the exits.
    However, developing world assets have performed strongly
this year - on a dovish outlook from the U.S. Federal Reserve
and signs of thawing U.S.-China trade ties - prompting investors
to term emerging markets as the "most crowded trade" for the
first time in the history of a Bank of America Merrill Lynch
    MSCI's index of Latin American stocks rose
1.7 percent on Tuesday to post its best day since the end of
January. MSCI's index of Latin American currencies
 gained 0.9 percent.
    Sao Paulo-traded stocks tacked on 1.9 percent in
their strongest one-day performance since early January on gains
across the board.
    Common shares of state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA
(Petrobras) gained 3.6 percent, their best day in
about a month and a half, on strong oil prices.
Preferred shares of Petrobras soared 3.5 percent.

    Mining giant Vale SA jumped 5.4 percent, the most
in nearly two weeks. 
    Argentina's stocks benchmark recorded an all-time
closing peak, rising 1.8 percent, while the country's peso
 notched its weakest closing level of 2019 as the central
bank resumed intervening in the currency market.
    The dollar's weakness set the stage for a firming of Chile's
peso as the currency overcame soft prices for copper
, Chile's top export.                
    Colombian stocks rose 0.6 percent, while majority
state-owned oil firm Ecopetrol SA gained 3 percent.
    Mexico's peso firmed 0.2 percent, while local stocks
 were outliers, sliding 0.4 percent to a more than
five-week closing low.
    Miner Grupo México dropped 0.5 percent after
reporting a lower fourth-quarter net profit. 
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2134 GMT
 Stock indexes                               daily
                                  Latest    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets             1042.13    0.65
 MSCI LatAm                        2856.98     1.7
 Brazil Bovespa                   96168.40    1.86
 Mexico IPC                       43113.79    -0.4
 Chile IPSA                        5384.88    0.18
 Argentina MerVal                 37685.96    1.79
 Colombia IGBC                    11953.46    0.64
 Currencies                                  daily
 Brazil real                        3.7094    0.07
 Mexico peso                       19.2483    0.26
 Chile peso                          659.8    0.25
 Colombia peso                      3124.5    0.40
 Peru sol                            3.329    0.09
 Argentina peso (interbank)        37.9700    0.00
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru and Paula Arend Laier
in Sao Paulo; Editing by Dan Grebler)
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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