January 18, 2019 / 2:30 PM / 7 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's Bovespa crosses 96,000; Latam currencies steady

    By Agamoni Ghosh
    Jan 18 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark stock index reached an
all-time high on Friday on positive investor sentiment about the
new government's pension reform plans and U.S.-China trade
talks, while Latin American currencies steadied against the U.S.
    The Bovespa, one of 2018's top performing indexes
across the globe, hit a record high, crossing the 96,000 mark 
as investors hoped the new government's pension reforms plans
may be revealed earlier than expected. 
    A government source said on Thursday that Economy Minister
Paulo Guedes is expected to detail the reform proposal at the
World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos next week, sooner
that previously suggested.
    Market sentiment has been positive toward policies and
reforms proposed by President Jair Bolsonaro's new government,
in particular pension reform, which could bring down the
country's high fiscal deficit.
    A Reuters poll found that Brazil's sluggish economic is
expected to grow 2.4 percent in 2019 versus 1.3 percent last
year, provided the new government implements promised reforms
and helps expand the private sector. 
    Markets were also boosted by positive sentiment around
U.S.-China trade talks after a Wall Street Journal report
suggested U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed
lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports, even
though a spokesman from the department has denied it.

    "That's what seems to have got the markets excited even
though the treasuries seem to deny it, but that's a very
short-term impact," said Koon Chow, EM macro and FX strategist
at UBP.
    Stocks in Chile climbed to a near four-month
high, on track for a fourth straight week of gains with Banco de
Chile emerging as one of the biggest gainers. 
    Currencies in Latin America steadied, with Chile's peso
 hovering around one-month highs as the price of copper,
the country's main export, rose. 
    Brazil's real and Mexico's peso also steadied,
 with the latter looking set for a eighth straight week of

 Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at  1400 GMT 
 Stock indexes                             daily %
                               Latest       change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1016.25      0.72
 MSCI LatAm                      2866.75      1.12
 Brazil Bovespa                 96129.41      0.82
 Mexico IPC                            -         -
 Chile IPSA                      5464.57      0.53
 Argentina MerVal                      -         -
 Colombia IGBC                         -         -
 Currencies                                daily %
 Brazil real                      3.7417      0.13
 Mexico peso                     19.0072      0.02
 Chile peso                        668.4      0.22
 Colombia peso                         -         -
 Peru sol                              -         -
 Argentina peso (interbank)            -         -

 (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve
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