October 3, 2017 / 10:16 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks rise the most since August as Petrobras jumps

 (Updates prices)
    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks soared on
Tuesday, boosted by potential public offers and takeovers in
Peru and Brazil as well as the prospect of a market-friendly
government in Argentina. 
    Brazilian stocks rose nearly 3 percent on Tuesday, their
biggest one-day percentage gain since the start of the year, as
shares of Petróleo Brasileiro SA rallied after a Cabinet
minister raised the prospect of privatizing the state-controlled
oil company.
    Argentina's leading Merval stock index rose for the
13th straight session on Tuesday, the longest streak in its
history, as polls showed the market-friendly government likely
to win in October's legislative elections.
    Rounding out the region's broad-based gains, the Peruvian
and Chilean stock exchanges also closed with big gains.
    The surge in Brazil was driven by shares of Petrobras
, as the company is known, which rose about 4 percent
to a seven-month high after Brazil's mines and energy minister
said in an interview late Monday that a privatization would be
feasible in the long run.
    His remarks added fuel to a controversy over state asset
sales in Brazil, a key part of President Michel Temer's efforts
to increase competitiveness and balance the government's budget.
    "It's a remote possibility, especially considering that
we're approaching presidential elections next year," strategists
at Coinvalores brokerage wrote in a client note.
    "Nevertheless, this should brighten the mood around
Petrobras shares, which currently seem too cheap."
    On Tuesday, Mines and Energy Minister Fernando Coelho Filho
said Temer is not planning on privatizing Petrobras, focusing
instead on an ongoing plan to sell off state control of power
utility Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA, or
    Preferred shares in Eletrobras were among the
biggest gainers on Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index
    The Peruvian stock exchange closed on Tuesday with its
biggest gains in a year and a half after the miner Volcan
received an offer to buy some of its shares. 
    The Chilean peso led the gains among Latin American
currencies, tracking an increase in prices of copper, a key
export. Bargain-hunting propped up copper futures this month
after it fell nearly 5 percent in September.
    Mexico's IPC stock exchange closed up 0.26 percent, driven
by gains in billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil.
The Mexican peso was up 0.03 percent as the market awaited U.S.
employment data and a speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman
Janet Yellen.  
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1950 GMT:
 Stock indexes                    Latest        Daily    YTD pct
                                                  pct     change
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1,097.04     1.3       25.6
 MSCI LatAm                          2,986.53    2.31      24.72
 Brazil Bovespa                     76,535.86    2.93      27.08
 Mexico IPC                         50,630.30    0.26      10.93
 Chile IPSA                          5,420.14    0.91      30.56
 Chile IGPA                         27,086.96    0.93      30.64
 Argentina MerVal                   26,629.00    1.06      57.40
 Colombia IGBC                      11,112.81    0.09       9.72
 Venezuela IBC                     514,559.50    0.76    1522.95
 Currencies                            Latest   Daily    YTD pct
                                                  pct     change
 Brazil real                           3.1449    0.31       3.32
 Mexico peso                          18.2240    0.03      13.83
 Chile peso                            632.16    0.99       6.10
 Colombia peso                       2,954.55   -0.19       1.59
 Peru sol                               3.262    0.34       4.66
 Argentina peso (interbank)           17.4100    0.06      -8.82
 Argentina peso (parallel)              17.85    0.62      -5.77

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and
Jonathan Oatis)
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