May 30, 2018 / 10:37 PM / in a year

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks, currency rise but political woes linger

 (Updates with closing prices, details from Mexico)
    SAO PAULO, May 30 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark Bovespa
equities index rose for a second straight day on
Wednesday as a decline in state-run oil company Petroleo
Brasileiro SA was offset by gains in transport and
consumer shares after plunging in recent weeks. 
    Trading has been jittery due to wariness about the
government's resolve and ability to maintain market-friendly
policies in the midst of disruptive work stoppages by the
nation's truckers and oil workers. 
    The index spent the morning in the red, but a pickup in
trading helped move it into positive territory later in the
    Petrobras was the center of attention as the company's
preferred and common shares fell 1.7 percent and 0.2 percent,
respectively, as workers at the company walked off the job. 
    Various media outlets, including Reuters, reported that
President Michel Temer may force Petrobras to ditch its
market-based fuel pricing system.
    The losses in Petrobras' shares had been steeper until
Temer's office said he was committed to the firm's financial
health and would preserve its pricing policies.
    Traders in general said they were worried about the
stability of the already fragile government. Temer on Tuesday
was forced to swat away questions from journalists about the
possibility of a military coup.
    Market participants are also trying the measure the costs of
a 10-day truckers' strike that is now winding down.
    "The market remains very fragile," said one Rio de
Janeiro-based trader. "Despite improvements, the situation is
not resolved, and losses still need to be figured out."
    The Bovespa, which has fallen about 10 percent since May 16,
closed up 0.9 percent, amid a generally positive day for
equities in Latin America. The country's currency, the real
, edged up 0.07 percent to about 3.74 reais per dollar.
    Among the gainers on the Bovespa was electronics and
appliance retailer Magazine Luiza SA, ending up 3.8
percent, after fears of major supply disruptions subsided.
    Also trading higher was highway operator Ecorodovias
, which climbed 3 percent, recouping dramatic losses
over the last two weeks as politicians lowered toll revenue
targets to assuage the protesting truckers.
    Meanwhile, Mexico's S&P/BMV IPC stock index closed up
slightly, while the Mexican peso climbed 0.5 percent against the
 Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2200 GMT:
 Stock indexes             Latest          Daily   YTD pct
                                             pct    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets        1,112.75      -1.2     -3.94
 MSCI LatAm                   2,565.09      0.23      -9.3
 Brazil Bovespa              76,753.61       0.9      0.46
 Mexico S&P/BMV IPC          44,715.88      0.15     -9.40
 Chile IPSA                   5,484.90     -0.17     -1.43
 Chile IGPA                  27,786.61     -0.16     -0.69
 Argentina MerVal            28,389.40      0.23     -5.58
 Colombia IGBC               12,302.82      0.80      8.20
 Venezuela IBC               34,894.65      0.57   2662.54
 Currencies                     Latest     Daily   YTD pct
                                             pct    change
 Brazil real                    3.7367      0.07    -11.33
 Mexico peso                   19.7290      0.50     -0.15
 Chile peso                     627.80      0.32     -2.09
 Colombia peso                2,877.50      0.99      3.63
 Peru sol                        3.270      0.18     -1.01
 Argentina peso                 24.925     -0.20    -25.38
 Argentina peso                  25.85     -0.19    -25.61
 (Reporting by Gram Slattery; additional reporting by Paula
Arend Laier
Editing by Susan Thomas)
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