November 5, 2018 / 9:50 PM / 7 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latin America stocks rise to near three-week high as Brazil, Mexico gain

    By Aaron Saldanha
    Nov 5 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks rose on Monday to
near three-week highs on strong gains in Brazil and Mexico and
some currencies in the region firmed as the dollar softened due
to uncertainty around the U.S. mid-term elections.
    Gains in benchmark equities in Mexico and Brazil
 pushed the MSCI index of Latin America stocks
 up 1.9 percent, while MSCI's index of currencies
in the region rose 0.25 percent. 
    Concerns that a strong showing by Democrats on Tuesday would
hinder U.S. President Donald Trump's agenda have played into the
dollar's weakness.
     Brazil's real fell against the greenback but the
Bovespa stock index rose 1.3 percent on broad-based
gains.
    Market-friendly President-elect Jair Bolsonaro softened his
view against China, an important destination of Brazilian
resource exports, in a television interview, saying China is
welcome to invest in Brazil. 
    He also said that he would propose new reform of the pension
system, a much anticipated move, at the start of his
government.    
    Local Mexican traders attributed a 3 percent gain for the
main index to investors returning to buy sold-off stocks
at "interesting valuations".
    The country's benchmark closed at a more than two-year low
last Tuesday, not long after a decision by incoming Mexican
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to scrap a new airport for
Mexico City raised doubts among investors about his market
friendliness.   
    The peso started this week by firming about 0.8
percent.
    "I think the market is giving (Lopez Obrador) the benefit of
the doubt," said Christian Lawrence, a senior market strategist
with Rabobank.
    Chile's peso firmed to two-week highs after data
showed economic activity rose in September.
    Argentina's stock index was little changed while its
peso weakened about half a percent.    
        
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2129 GMT
    
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          992.38     -0.44    -14.34
                                                  
 MSCI LatAm                    2775.69      1.88     -1.85
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa               89598.16      1.33     17.27
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                   46813.53      3.01     -5.15
                                                  
 Chile IPSA                    5250.95      2.87      2.87
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal             31429.30      0.03      4.54
                                                  
                                                          
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
                                Latest            
 Brazil real                    3.7248      0.01    -11.05
                                                  
 Mexico peso                   19.8730      0.76     -0.88
                                                  
 Chile peso                      678.7      2.62     -9.44
                                                  
 Colombia peso                 3181.66      0.05     -6.28
 Peru sol                        3.365      0.18     -3.80
                                                  
 Argentina peso                35.6200     -0.28    -47.78
 (interbank)                                      
                                                  
 

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru and Sheky Espejo in
Mexico City)
  
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