March 28, 2019 / 3:23 PM / in 8 months

EMERGING MARKETS-Earnings boost lifts Bovespa; Latam currencies rise

    By Agamoni Ghosh
    March 28 (Reuters) - Brazilian shares boosted by a recovery
in major companies' balance sheets lifted Latin American stocks
on Thursday, while currencies in the region rose from their
lowest levels in almost three months. 
    MSCI's index of Latin American stocks came
off this year's lows on the gains in Brazil's Bovespa,
which shed about 3.5 percent in the previous session as pension
reform worries gripped investor sentiment.
    Brazilian assets tumbled on Wednesday as President Jair
Bolsonaro and his economy minister tried to rescue their
contentious pension reform bill from political opponents.
    The president tried to reassure investors on Thursday,
indicating the pension reform is moving ahead as planned and
that he has "no problems" with House Speaker Rodrigo Maia. The
two had traded insults in recent days, casting serious doubts on
the fate of the leader's proposed reforms.   
    State-run electricity company Eletrobras led
gains on the Bovespa after the company reported a hefty
fourth-quarter profit of $3.02 billion, a sharp turnaround from
the previous year, boosted by privatizations.
    Iron ore miner Vale's reporting that its fourth-quarter
profits jumped nearly fivefold to $3.786 billion also boosted
the index. The company, however, said a series of writedowns and
provisions related to the Brumadinho disaster would affect
future results.
    Brazilian airline Azul fell 2.5 percent after
canceling a venture with the country's postal service. 
    The real managed to recover partly from the previous
session's 3 percent fall but a strong dollar limited its gains. 
    In addition, Brazil's central bank on Thursday revised its
forecast for 2019 gross domestic product growth to 2 percent,
saying Vale's recent mining tragedy and a tough harvest will
likely weigh on the nation's economy.
    Stocks in Chile's IPSA index were marginally
higher, while its peso rose 0.2 percent, tracking a gain
in the price of copper, the country's top export.     
    Mexican stocks fell 0.7 percent after three sessions
of gains with Grupo Televisa Sab leading declines
after JP Morgan cut its price target on the stock.
    The peso was trading cautiously ahead of a central
bank policy meeting where officials are expected to hold
borrowing costs steady as inflationary pressures subside,
according to a Reuters poll published earlier this week.

    "At the Banxico (Bank of Mexico) meeting focus will be on
whether authorities will sound meaningfully more dovish than in
the previous meeting," said analysts from Citi in a note.   
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1445 GMT
 Stock indexes                        daily %
                             Latest    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets       1043.68    -0.04
 MSCI LatAm                  2669.12     0.78
 Brazil Bovespa             93436.68     1.67
 Mexico IPC                 42566.03    -0.70
 Chile IPSA                  5175.58     0.03
 Argentina MerVal           32672.24     1.55
 Colombia IGBC              12939.55     0.19
 Currencies                           daily %
 Brazil real                  .25205     0.76
 Mexico peso                 19.3530     0.01
 Chile peso                      680     0.40
 Colombia peso               3179.15    -0.17
 Peru sol                      3.315     0.06
 Argentina peso              43.3000     1.39

 (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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