December 19, 2019 / 7:34 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks at record high on GDP upgrade, most Latam markets in lull

    * Brazil to be 'standout' in 2020 -market analyst
    * Broader sentiment remains positive
    * Mexico cuts rates by 25bps, warns of inflation

 (Rewrites with updated prices, market analyst comment)
    By Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh
    Dec 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian equities touched a record high
after the central bank raised its 2020 economic growth forecast
while most Latin American assets were flat on Thursday as
trading slowed ahead of the holiday season.
    The central bank raised its 2020 GDP growth forecast to
2.2%, but cautioned that was conditional on continued economic
reforms.
    "Brazil is going to be the standout of 2020 just because of
all the work that was put in this year towards reforms and
pushing it through," said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst
at OANDA in Toronto.
    The MSCI's Latin American stock index was
largely flat for the day. Argentine stocks rose about
1.8%, while Chilean stocks treaded water. 
    While global trade ructions and regional political violence 
had undercut Latin American risk assets for a good portion of
2019, regional assets had a second wind in the last quarter,
thanks to optimism over U.S.-China trade and cheap local
valuations. 
    "With the depreciation of the currencies this year, there
were a lot of good buys from solid sectors. We saw the Brazilian
stock market hit a record and that is just a lot of money
pouring back into it," OANDA's Esparza added.
    Mexican stocks were a touch lower, while the peso
 traded sideways after the central bank cut rates by 25
basis points, as widely expected. The bank also said that
economic uncertainty would persist in 2020 and that inflation
would reflect "slack" in the economy.
    Regional currencies were slightly weaker on
the day against a steady dollar, which firmed ahead of U.S. GDP
data due on Friday.
    Brazil's real strengthened slightly, while the
Chilean and Argentine pesos weakened against the
dollar.
    The Chilean peso and Peruvian sol were also
trading flat.
    
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1914 GMT: 
    
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1107.02            -0.19
                                        
 MSCI LatAm                    2910.24              0.1
                                        
 Brazil Bovespa              114893.52             0.51
                                        
 Mexico IPC                   44785.17            -0.71
                                        
 Chile IPSA                    4752.82             0.29
                                        
 Argentina MerVal             38256.91            1.692
                                        
 Colombia COLCAP               1633.99            -0.11
                                        
                                                       
       Currencies             Latest    Daily % change
 Brazil real                    4.0562             0.07
                                        
 Mexico peso                   18.9470             0.07
                                        
 Chile peso                      753.7            -0.37
                                        
 Colombia peso                    3311             0.36
 Peru sol                        3.332             0.18
                                        
 Argentina peso                59.8150             0.00
 (interbank)                            
                                        
 
 (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick in
Bengaluru; editing by Grant McCool)
  
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