March 13, 2019 / 9:46 PM / 8 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam shares and FX rise, Brazil stocks hit record high

 (Recasts throughout, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    March 13 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks soared on
Wednesday with Brazil shares hitting an all-time high on hopes
that a long-awaited pension overhaul would be passed soon, while
regional currencies mostly gained against a weaker dollar.
    The U.S. dollar slid after data showed only a slight rise in
U.S. producer prices in February, making a stronger case for the
Federal Reserve's patient approach to future hikes in interest
rates.
    A steady move higher in the U.S. benchmark borrowing rate
had boosted the dollar over the past year, sucking money out of
riskier assets of the developing world.
    "A weaker U.S. dollar would ease global funding conditions
and may work in favor of prolonging the global economic
expansion," Morgan Stanley strategists wrote in a note.
    Mexico's peso firmed 0.3 percent, extending gains to
a fourth straight session. The low growth in U.S. producer
prices and higher oil prices supported the peso, said analysts
at Banco Base. Crude exporter Colombia's currency also
rose. 
    The Argentine peso tacked on 0.4 percent, while
Brazil's real held steady.
    Latin American stocks surged, helping MSCI's Latam stock
index outperform the broader emerging market
index, which fell.
    Brazil shares climbed 1 percent, as President Jair
Bolsonaro's reiteration that he sees pension reforms being
passed in the first half of the year bolstered investor
optimism.
    Colombia stocks jumped 1.6 percent and hit their
highest in more than four years, while Argentina's Merval stocks
index added 1.25 percent. Mexican equities gained
half a percent.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2108 GMT:
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1050.46      -0.1
                                        
 MSCI LatAm                    2832.28      0.66
                                        
 Brazil Bovespa               98903.88       1.1
                                        
 Mexico IPC                   41932.56      0.46
                                        
 Chile IPSA                    5313.49      0.45
                                        
 Argentina MerVal             34023.02      1.14
                                        
 Colombia IGBC                12799.72      1.61
                                        
                                                
       Currencies             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 Brazil real                    3.8142    -0.069
                                        
 Mexico peso                   19.2783     0.319
                                        
 Chile peso                      668.7     -0.42
                                        
 Colombia peso                 3144.05     0.094
 Peru sol                        3.294      0.09
                                        
 Argentina peso                41.1500      0.90
 (interbank)                            
                                        
 

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Rosalba
O'Brien)
  
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