April 13, 2018 / 3:20 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies up as Syria concerns ease, Brazil markets down

    By Bruno Federowski
    BRASILIA, April 13 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
mostly rose on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump tempered
some of his remarks on Syria, rekindling appetite for risky
    Emerging markets sold off in mid-week due to concerns of
Western military action in Syria that could drive a
confrontation with Russia.
    But Trump tempered his remarks over the subject on Thursday
and even as he consulted allies such as Britain and France, who
could join in any U.S.-led strikes on Syria, there were signs of
efforts to prevent the crisis from spiraling out of control.

    "For now, investor caution over Syria seems to be fading,"
analysts at H. Commcor brokerage wrote in a client note.
    The Mexican and Colombian pesos firmed 0.4
and 0.5 percent, respectfully.
    The Brazilian real, however, fell 0.6 percent as
traders fretted over the most uncertain presidential election in
    Following the arrest of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da
Silva, who was leading polls and had rallied against President
Michel Temer's austerity platform, traders now await fresh
surveys to assess whether market-friendly candidates will gain
    Traders booked profits from recent gains ahead of a poll in
the weekend, driving the benchmark Bovespa stock 1.4 percent
    In a report, analysts at Guide Investimentos said investors
should check the polls for signs of growing support for former
São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin and former Supreme Court
Justice Joaquim Barbosa.
    Shares of Cyrela Brazil Realty SA, Latin
America's largest homebuilder, fell sharply after it reported
lower launches in the first quarter despite rising sales.

    BRF SA, Brazil's largest chicken processor,
dropped 1.2 percent following three straight daily gains. 
    The man tapped by pension funds to preside over BRF's board
said this week he refused to take part in an alternative board
lineup, deepening a rift between the food company's
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1500 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                 daily %   YTD %
                                      Latest    change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                1169.10    -0.66    1.59
 MSCI LatAm                           3016.91    -1.74    8.56
 Brazil Bovespa                      84229.06    -1.42   10.24
 Mexico IPC                          48600.26    -0.37   -1.53
 Chile IPSA                           5617.05    -0.25    0.94
 Chile IGPA                          28105.96     -0.2    0.45
 Argentina MerVal                    32048.51     0.03    6.60
 Colombia IGBC                       12124.64     -1.2    6.63
 Currencies                                    daily %   YTD %
                                                change  change
 Brazil real                           3.4273    -0.60   -3.33
 Mexico peso                          18.1090     0.41    8.78
 Chile peso                            596.11     0.03    3.11
 Colombia peso                         2692.4     0.50   10.76
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski
Editing by Chris Reese)
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