(Updates with final prices) By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, May 16 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real strengthened on Tuesday after the central bank resumed market intervention, providing support for the currency ahead of a key vote on pension reform. The Brazilian real firmed as much as 0.6 percent before paring gains to 0.34 percent as traders booked profit on a six-day stretch of gains. The central bank sold $400 million worth of traditional currency swaps, which correspond to sales of dollars to investors for future delivery, to roll over June contracts. Should it maintain that pace of sales daily throughout the end of May, as it has done in previous months, it will roll over all of the $4.4 billion worth of maturing swaps. The move comes as the lower house of Congress prepares to vote on President Michel Temer's flagship revamp of the Brazil's costly pension system, which investors say is needed to curtail growth of public debt and stave off recession. Traders say the approval may trigger additional strength in the real, which has failed to rise consistently past 3.10 to the dollar since early February. Temer said on Monday a vote could take place by late May, though he still does not have the votes to pass it at this moment. The real's move up also tracked strength in other Latin American currencies, after weaker-than-expected U.S. housing figures supported expectations of a slower pace of interest rate increases in the country, potentially increasing appetite for riskier emerging-market assets. Mexico's peso rose for a sixth straight session, closing up 0.3 percent at 18.65 per dollar. Still, yields on Brazilian interest rate futures contracts fell as traders bet the central bank could accelerate interest rate cuts this month to a brisk 1.25 percent basis points, taking the benchmark Selic rate to 10 percent. Weaker-then-expected economic figures led economists at Banco BTG Pactual SA to forecast a 125 basis-point cut this month, followed by 100 basis-point and 75 basis-point reductions in July and September. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2150 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1015.05 0.48 17.72 MSCI LatAm 2761.44 0.36 17.98 Brazil Bovespa 68684.50 0.31 14.04 Mexico IPC 49459.62 -0.44 8.36 Chile IPSA 4875.40 -0.32 17.44 Chile IGPA 24448.43 -0.26 17.91 Argentina MerVal 21833.61 0.81 29.06 Colombia IGBC 10826.50 -0.4 6.90 Venezuela IBC 64415.96 3.73 103.17 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.0955 0.34 4.97 Mexico peso 18.65 0.3 11.23 Chile peso 666.7 0.22 0.61 Colombia peso 2876.35 0.09 4.35 Peru sol 3.265 0.12 4.56 Argentina peso (interbank) 15.565 -0.35 1.99 Argentina peso (parallel) 16.00 -0.50 5.13 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Editing by Andrea Ricci and David Gregorio)
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