March 29, 2019 / 9:20 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam shares rise on trade hopes, post best quarter in a year

 (Recasts throughout, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    March 29 (Reuters) - Latin American shares rose on Friday,
in line with other emerging market peers and world stocks, as
encouraging signals from U.S.-China trade talks supported risk
sentiment.
    MSCI's index of Latin American shares rose
2.2 percent, with stocks across the region in the black. The
index posted its best quarter since the same quarter a year ago,
thanks to bumper gains in January as the two subsequent months
ended in red.
    On the day, Brazil stocks closed 1.1 percent higher, while
shares in Mexico climbed 0.8 percent to their highest in
a week. Shares in Argentina, Chile and Colombia
all posted gains between 0.9 percent and 1.8 percent.
    "Equity markets conclude the week in positive territory amid
hopes of progress in U.S.-China trade talks," Banorte analysts
at Banorte in note.
    The White House said negotiators from United States and
China made headway in trade negotiations that concluded in
Beijing on Friday, as the two sides try to end a months-long
trade war that has roiled financial markets and slowed global
growth.
    In Brazil, optimism around pension reform added to the
market cheer after the president, economy minister and speaker
of the lower house of Congress set aside differences to focus on
passing a thorny pension proposal to protect the country's
public finances.
    Iron ore miner Vale was the top booster, gaining
3.3 percent as prices of the steel-making ingredient rose. Meat
company JBS SA finished 2.9 percent higher after the
company said it would deliver stronger earnings in 2019.

    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index clocked gains for a
third straight quarter, up 8 percent for the three months ending
March. The Bovespa has gained for 11 of the last 13 quarters.
    Mexican shares rose with gains being more or less
broad-based. The index firmed by nearly 4 percent in the
quarter. 
    Mexico's peso, however, eased against a stronger
dollar on Friday, as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened
again to close the border with Mexico.
    The move, intended to stop Central American migrants from
crossing into the United States, could cost Mexico billions of
dollars in trade. The peso tacked on 1.1 percent this quarter.
    Brazil's real erased early gains to close 0.4 percent
lower as the dollar strengthened on the back of weakness in the
pound and the euro after lawmakers voted against
UK PM Theresa May's Brexit deal for a third time.
    The real lost 4.3 percent this month and ended the quarter a
tad weaker. 
      
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2100 GMT:
        Stock indexes           Latest      Daily
                                             pct
                                            change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1,058.13      1.24
                                           
 MSCI LatAm                      2,746.11      2.22
 Brazil Bovespa                 95,414.55      1.09
 Mexico IPC                     43,281.28      0.79
 Chile IPSA                      5,259.41      0.87
 Argentina MerVal               33,475.22      1.77
 Colombia IGBC                  13,060.07       1.1
                                                   
         Currencies             Latest      Daily
                                             pct
                                            change
 Brazil real                       3.9238      -0.6
 Mexico peso                      19.4215     -0.45
 Chile peso                         679.5      0.54
 Colombia peso                   3,186.03     -0.39
 Peru sol                           3.318      0.06
 Argentina peso (interbank)       43.3000      0.81
                                           
 

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by G Crosse)
  
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