April 25, 2019 / 9:24 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil markets rise, Argentina peso hits all-time low

 (Recasts throughout, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    April 25 (Reuters) - Brazil's currency rose on Thursday
after the government increased the projected savings from its
signature pension reform bill, while Argentina's peso hit an
all-time low as worries over upcoming elections weighed.
    Among other Latin American currencies, the Mexican peso
 reversed early losses to end 0.2 percent higher as the
dollar's rally lost some momentum. But currencies in Chile
, Colombia and Peru weakened between 0.2
percent and 0.3 percent.
    Brazil's real closed up nearly 1 percent, its
sharpest rise in nearly four weeks, after the economy ministry
raised targeted savings from the pension reforms by 15 percent
to $1.237 trillion reais ($1.24 trillion) over the next decade.

    Analysts and economists had expected that the earlier target
would get diluted as the bill makes its way through Congress.
The bill cleared a congressional hurdle on Tuesday and will be
reviewed next by a special commission which is expected to be
put together by May 6.
    Stocks in Sao Paulo were the only ones in the region
to finish higher, notching a more than two-week peak, up 1.6
percent.
    Cosmetics maker Natura Cosmeticos SA was the top
gainer, up 10 percent, after it said it is still in talks for a
deal with Avon Products Inc.
    Meat processor JBS SA jumped 7.7 percent as its
Seara processed foods unit was cleared to ship Brazil's first
chicken cargo to India.
    Argentina's peso fell 2.6 percent to a record low as
uncertainty over a biting recession and high inflation cranked
up the challenge facing President Mauricio Macri as polls show a
drop in his popularity ahead of elections later this year.

    "When a high-profile country like Argentina comes under
pressure everybody loves to sell," said Edwin Gutierrez, head of
EM debt at Aberdeen Standard Investment.
    "It never tends to last very long but that is the nature of
the beast, the correlation causes the knee-jerk reaction." 
    Buenos Aires' MerVal stock index gave up session
gains and closed 0.6 percent down at their lowest in four
months.
    Mexican shares closed flat as cement producer Cemex's
 4.1 percent slump after first-quarter results fell
short of analyst estimates was offset by gains elsewhere.

    Airport stocks Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte
 and Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste rose.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said earlier this week
that construction of Mexico City's new commercial airport will
begin next week.
    A Reuters poll on Thursday showed that economists had scaled
by economic growth expectations for Brazil, Mexico and Argentina
due to political uncertainty in Latin America's top three
economies.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2100 GMT:
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1076.71     -0.72
                                        
 MSCI LatAm                    2757.67      0.85
                                        
 Brazil Bovespa               96552.03      1.59
                                        
 Mexico IPC                   45026.68     -0.04
                                        
 Chile IPSA                    5170.42      -0.6
                                        
 Argentina MerVal             29556.77     -0.64
                                        
 Colombia IGBC                12978.00     -0.04
                                        
                                                
       Currencies             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 Brazil real                    3.9530      0.95
                                        
 Mexico peso                   19.0150     0.204
                                        
 Chile peso                      675.3     -0.37
                                        
 Colombia peso                 3233.35    -0.322
 Peru sol                        3.326     -0.09
                                        
 Argentina peso                44.9050     -2.06
 (interbank)                            
                                        
 


($1 = $1.0000)

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru and Marc Jones in
London
Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
  
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