EMERGING MARKETS-Rising commodity prices propel Latam FX; Hering soars on rejecting merger

    * Currencies of Chile, Colombia rise over 1%
    * Peru's sol rises; GDP contraction not as bas as expected
    * Brazilian retailer Hering soars 27% on rejecting Arezzo
    * Petrobras raises fuel prices; shares fall 

    By Susan Mathew
    April 15 (Reuters) - Higher oil and copper prices propelled
the currencies of Chile and Colombia more than 1% higher on
Thursday, while Brazilian retailer Cia Hering soared after
rejecting an unsolicited merger offer. 
    Chile's peso rose 1.4% to a seven-week peak as copper
prices hit their highest in more than a month, while an
improving demand outlook buoyed oil prices and saw exporter
Colombia's peso log its best session in two weeks.

    Brazil's real extended gains for a third
straight session. Data showed the country's February services
activity posted its third-biggest surge in a decade. It is also
seen posting a smaller-than-anticipated primary budget deficit
next year, according to Economy Ministry budget
    But as Brazil teeters on the brink of recession and
inflation surges above the official year-end target, the outlook
for the economy is bleak, complicated further by the unabated
spread of COVID-19 cases.
    The International Monetary Fund on Thursday reiterated the
need to control the pandemic in Latin America in order to catch
up with faster growth in the rest of the world.
    "Worsening virus outbreaks and tighter lockdown measures are
weighing on economic recoveries across Latin America,
particularly in Brazil and Chile," said Nikhil Sanghani, a Latam
economist at Capital Economics.
    "Rapid progress with vaccinations may allow Chile's economy
to turn a corner before long, but the rest of the region is
likely to struggle in the coming months."
    Mexico's peso hit a two-month high, while Peru's sol
 brushed off data that showed the economy shrank 4.18%
year-on-year in February as the contraction was less than
    Shares of Cia Hering jumped 27% after the apparel
retailer rejected an unsolicited tie-up offer from competitor
Arezzo Industria e Comercio. But the Bovespa stock
index retreated from three-week highs, as shares of oil
giant Petrobras weighed.
    Petrobras said it will raise the average price of diesel at
refineries by about 3.8% and gasoline by 1.9%. This comes after
its chief executive was ousted recently by Brazil's President
Jair Bolsonaro over increasing fuel prices. 
    Elsewhere, Turkey's lira rose 0.7%, erasing session
losses made on the central bank dropping its pledge to
decisively maintain tight policy.
    Russia's rouble was down 0.7% against the dollar,
cutting losses of up to 2%, after U.S. sanctions were not seen
as having a long term impact. The move nevertheless marked a
further souring of ties between Washington and Moscow.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1914 GMT:
  Stock indexes           Latest   Daily %
 MSCI Emerging Markets    1341.55     0.37
 MSCI LatAm               2391.69      0.9
 Brazil Bovespa         120535.65      0.2
 Mexico IPC              48544.45     0.44
 Chile IPSA               4921.27    -0.12
 Argentina MerVal        47152.17    -0.31
 Colombia COLCAP          1316.55    -0.33
      Currencies          Latest   Daily %
 Brazil real               5.6170     0.93
 Mexico peso              19.9680     0.47
 Chile peso                 699.1     1.40
 Colombia peso            3610.02     1.25
 Peru sol                  3.6247     0.17
 Argentina peso           92.7200    -0.04
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine