EMERGING MARKETS-Latam equities soar as US clinches fiscal deal
* U.S. Congress averts 'fiscal cliff' * Commodity stocks lifted by appetite for riskier assets * Brazil Bovespa up 2.62 pct, Mexico IPC gains 1.37 pct By Asher Levine SAO PAULO/MEXICO CITY Jan 2 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks rocketed on Wednesday after U.S. lawmakers voted to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of steep tax hikes and spending cuts that threatened to throw the world's largest economy into recession. Shares of the most widely traded commodities firms drove Brazil's Bovespa to its biggest daily gain in more than 3 months, while Mexico's IPC index closed at a record high. Shares rose after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late Tuesday that will raise taxes on the wealthy but preserve tax cuts for middle class Americans. The compromise relieved investor concerns over an impasse that could have weighed heavily on global economic growth. While many traders had already factored an agreement into their expectations, and others warned that Wednesday's rally may be short-lived because of further wrangling over the U.S. budget in coming months, the deal signaled an appetite for the riskier commodity assets that swell the Bovespa's ranks. "The market, up to a point, expected it," said Luiz Gustavo Pereira, a strategist at Futura Corretora in Sao Paulo of the agreement. "But the positive effect on commodities and the uptick of some PMIs has led to investors taking a little more risk." Brazil's Bovespa index rose 2.62 percent to 62,550.10, the biggest one-day gain in more than three months, to close at its highest level since April last year. Preferred shares of iron-ore mining firm Vale SA rose more than 4 percent, driving the index, while fellow oil company OGX climbed 8.68 percent. The high liquidity of both shares make them favorites among foreign investors looking for exposure to Brazilian equities and they tend to rise or fall in line with global risk appetite. Shares of homebuilder MRV Engenharia e Participaçoes SA fell 2.75 percent after the company said an affiliated company was on a government list of firms subjecting employees to slave-like working conditions. Mexico's IPC index jumped 1.37 percent to 44,304.17 points, a record high. Shares of banking group Banorte rose 3.94 percent, contributing most to the index's gains. Shares in the well-regarded bank almost doubled in price last year. Mexico's new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, was quick to praise U.S. lawmakers on reaching the agreement. "Mexico celebrates the U.S. Congress' deal, which undoubtedly defers or puts to one side what was a very real risk to our country's economy," he said. Chile's IPSA index ended the day at its highest levels since last July, rising 1.11 percent to 4,349.05. Retailers boosted the index, with Falabella adding 1.29 percent and Cencosud gaining 2.3 percent. Latin America's key stock indexes at 2139 GMT: Stock indexes % change Latest MSCI LatAm 3,891.54 2.47 Brazil Bovespa 62,550.10 2.62 Mexico IPC 44,304.17 1.37 Chile IPSA 4,349.05 1.11 Chile IGPA 21,253.09 0.87 Argentina MerVal 2,952.87 3.45 Colombia IGBC 14,715.68 0.00 Peru IGRA 21,016.02 1.87 Venezuela IBC 471,444.53 0
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