November 28, 2019 / 6:19 PM / in 6 months

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam assets hold ground amid trade fears as Brazil's real firms

    * Trump signs bill on Hong Kong into law
    * China warns of retaliation
    * Brazil's real firms, rising off record low
    * Argentina's MerVal ticks higher

    By Aaron Saldanha
    Nov 28 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks rose on Thursday,
as gains in index heavyweight Brazil more than offset creeping
doubts about a U.S.-China trade truce, while most currencies in
the region slipped as investors stayed away from riskier assets.
    Earlier in the day, China's Foreign Ministry warned of
unspecified "firm counter measures" after U.S. President Donald
Trump signed legislation backing pro-democracy protesters in
Hong Kong.
    Global markets were trading lower as investors dialed back
on their optimism of an initial trade agreement being signed
soon, Gabriel Casillas, chief economist and head of research at
Banorte Research, wrote in a note.
    MSCI's Latin American stocks index rose
0.3%, a move largely matched by the regional currencies
benchmark due to gains in Brazil's real.
    Sao Paulo-traded equities rose 0.3% as consumer
staples and industrials overshadowed a drop in energy stocks and
a flagging financial sector, which were pressured by a cap on
interest rates on overdraft credit.
    State-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras)
 fell 0.3%, as investors looked past the announcement
of a planned expansion of output, paying more attention instead
to a 0.6% decline in Brent crude futures.

    In a bright spot, Brazil's real firmed 0.9%, after
hitting an all-time closing low on Wednesday, and was on course
to snap a four-session losing streak. Meanwhile, yields on local
10-year bonds rose 7.5 basis points to 7.075%.

    Mexican stocks dipped 0.1%, while the peso
softened by 0.4%. Minutes of the central bank's last monetary
policy meeting released on Thursday showed the bank leaving the
door open to future rate cuts against the backdrop of weaker
than expected economic activity.
    Chile's peso notched a record low, pummeled by a
double whammy of sliding prices of copper, the country's
top export, on global trade fears and violent local protests.
Stocks in Chile slid 2.2%.   
    Meanwhile, Argentina's stocks rose 0.4%, while the
peso marked time. President-elect Alberto Fernandez, who
takes office next month, said he did not want to fall short on
the country's debt obligations. 
    Colombia's peso softened 0.4%, while stocks
rose 0.7%, on course to record a closing gain for the first time
this week, aided by rising financials such as Bancolombia
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1747 GMT:
     Stock indexes              Latest     Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1050.51              -0.23
 MSCI LatAm                      2644.36                0.3
 Brazil Bovespa                107978.86               0.25
 Mexico IPC                     42976.25              -0.14
 Chile SPIPSA                    4494.82              -2.21
 Argentina MerVal               34051.31               0.36
 Colombia Colcap                 1598.51                0.7
        Currencies              Latest     Daily % change
 Brazil real                      4.2316               0.62
 Mexico peso                     19.5795              -0.36
 Chile peso                        828.9              -1.46
 Colombia peso                   3516.89              -0.39
 Peru sol                         3.3898              -0.17
 Argentina peso (interbank)      59.7700               0.02

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; editing by Diane
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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