April 12, 2019 / 2:58 PM / 2 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Most Latam currencies firm, Brazilian assets slip

    By Aaron Saldanha
    April 12 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies firmed
on Friday against a tepid dollar on resurgent risk sentiment,
with rising oil prices supporting firmness among the region's
net oil exporters' currencies. 
    Oil-related currencies remained attractive, Morgan Stanley
strategists wrote in a note, observing that the out-performance
of high-yielding emerging market currencies corresponded to real
U.S. yields giving back some ground they had recently gained.
    
    Investors' appetite for riskier currencies got a boost after
data showed China's exports rebounded in March. China purchases
a lot of natural resources from Latin America, so growing
Chinese exports could boost demand for local currencies,
analysts said.   
    Mexio's peso and stocks each rose 0.4%. 
   Santander Mexico shares rose 12.7% after a buyback
announcement. 
    The peso is one of the developing world's most traded
currencies, favored by investors for its liquidity and
relatively high interest rates.
    Chile's peso gained 0.5% following rising prices of
copper, the country's top export. 
    Argentina's peso firmed, while stocks fell
half a percent. Colombia's peso firmed 0.6 percent. A
significant portion of the country's exports are related to oil.
   
    Brazil's real dipped 0.1 percent, while Sao
Paulo-traded stocks slipped 0.1 percent, weighed down by
losses mainly in the energy sector.
    A 1% jump in oil prices was insufficient to buoy
state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), whose
common shares and preferred shares slid
5.3 % and 4.2%, respectively.
     Petrobras will postpone a diesel price hike, following
pressure from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, according to a
person familiar with the matter.
    The news spooked investors in the energy giant, whose
preferred shares hit their lowest in more than a month before
recovering marginally. 
    Itausa Investimentos Itau SA rose 0.4%. The
investment firm and CVC Capital Partners are among the groups
interested in an LPG distribution unit Petrobras has put on the
block, two sources said.
    Shares of miner Vale SA rose 1.4% after Barclays
raised the price target on the iron ore giant's U.S.-listed
shares.    
 
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1426 GMT
    
 Stock indexes                                      daily %
                                        Latest       change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                    1091.43      0.36
 MSCI LatAm                               2798.37     -0.32
 Brazil Bovespa                          94709.22     -0.05
 Mexico IPC                              44774.10      0.44
 Chile IPSA                               5254.12     -0.01
 Argentina MerVal                        31354.65     -0.46
 Colombia IGBC                           13165.53      0.08
                                                           
 Currencies                                         daily %
                                                     change
                                           Latest  
 Brazil real                               3.8607     -0.15
 Mexico peso                              18.7671      0.31
 Chile peso                                 660.7      0.65
 Colombia peso                            3105.09      0.42
 Peru sol                                   3.292      0.18
 Argentina peso (interbank)               42.3000      1.06
                                                   
 
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by David
Gregorio)
  
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