September 5, 2018 / 11:13 PM / 15 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Argentina stocks, peso rebound as IMF talks stir optimism

 (Updates prices throughout; adds details from IMF talks, NAFTA)
    BUENOS AIRES, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Argentina's benchmark stock
index jumped more than 4 percent on Wednesday and the peso
currency appreciated after the government raised the prospect of
a new deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after two
days of talks in Washington.
    The peso closed 1.38 percent stronger at 38.52
per dollar on Wednesday, marking a rare pause in losses that
have shaved more than 50 percent off its value this year, making
it one of the worst performing emerging market currencies.
    Argentine Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne said he believed
a deal to release early disbursements from a $50 billion standby
loan agreement with the IMF could be put to its board by the end
of the month, helping to shore up investor confidence.

    The Merval stock index closed up by 4.14 percent
after tumbling earlier in the week. 
    Mexico's peso rose 0.32 percent as talks between the
United States and Canada aimed at reaching a three-way deal in
the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement
entered their latest phase in Washington.
    In Brazil, the real currency and benchmark Bovespa
stock index strengthened slightly.
    Political uncertainty in Brazil took a toll after judicial
authorities canceled the release of a closely-watched opinion
poll on technical grounds, while prosecutors accused
market-friendly presidential candidate Geraldo Alckmin of
accepting improper donations.
    Still, the index was supported by opportunistic buying after
some heavily weighted firms, such as beverage company Ambev SA
, fell significantly in previous sessions.
    A big winner on the Bovespa was Suzano Papel e Celulose SA
, which climbed nearly 4 percent after Brazil's
securities regulator rejected a request by shareholders to delay
a shareholders' meeting in which a tie-up with rival Fibria
Celulose SA will be discussed.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2300 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                Latest          Daily   YTD pct
                                                pct    change
                                             change  
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1,040.17     -0.66    -10.21
                                                     
 MSCI LatAm                      2,387.97      -2.3    -15.56
 Brazil Bovespa                 75,092.27      0.51     -1.71
 Mexico IPC                     48,595.37     -0.59     -1.54
 Argentina MerVal               28,769.09      4.14     -4.31
 Colombia IGBC                  12,111.59     -0.86      6.52
 Chile IPSA                      5,137.49     -0.69    -7.675
                                                             
 Currencies                        Latest     Daily   YTD pct
                                                pct    change
                                             change  
 Brazil real                       4.1436      0.23    -20.04
 Mexico peso                      19.3375      0.32     1.87
 Chile peso                         687.8      0.71    -10.64
 Colombia peso                      3,097     -0.08     -3.71
 Peru sol                           3.318      0.06     -2.44
 Argentina peso (interbank)         38.40      1.38    -51.56
                                                     
 
 (Reporting by Gram Slattery and Jorge Otaola; Additional
reporting by Hugh Bronstein; editing by Jonathan Oatis and
Rosalba O'Brien)
  
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