December 15, 2017 / 4:08 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Chile's IPSA jumps before election, supported by copper

    SAO PAULO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Equities in Chile posted solid
gains on Friday, as prices for key export copper ticked up on
solid Chinese industrial data and the country gears up for a
tight presidential election over the weekend.
    Sunday's election pits conservative billionaire Sebastian
Pinera, favored by investors, against center-left Senator
Alejandro Guillier. Pinera, who once had a strong lead,
disappointed in a first round vote in November, sending Chile's
blue-chip IPSA index tumbling almost 10 percent by Dec. 7,
before it pared losses in recent days.
    Though the margin is expected to be razor-thin, some
analysts are still giving a slight edge to Pinera, as he
benefits from a more disciplined political coalition than
Guillier, who has been working to win the support of the
hard-left Frente Amplio (Broad Front) coalition.
    "How supporters of the leftist Broad Front vote in the
run-off remains the critical factor, and predicting how such a
new and heterogeneous group will vote is difficult," wrote
Nicholas Watson, senior vice president of political risk
consultancy Teneo Intelligence.
    "That said, Pinera is likely to retain a slight edge."
    A rise in copper prices on Friday helped push Chile's IPSA
 up 0.6 percent by midday, after China, a key importer of
the metal, beat analysts' estimates for November industrial
    Equities in neighboring Argentina were also performing well
on Friday, led by energy stocks, such as Pampa Energia SA
 which jumped 2 percent by early afternoon.
    Analysts at consultancy Balanz Capital said expectations of
changes in the composition of the benchmark Merval
index, which climbed 0.68 percent, were causing some one-time
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1525 GMT:
 Stock indexes                             daily %     YTD %
                               Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1117,74     -0,31     30,03
 MSCI LatAm                      2717,97      0,44     15,62
 Brazil Bovespa                 72939,95      0,71     21,11
 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC             48051,12     -0,36      5,28
 Chile IPSA                      5149,98       0,6     24,05
 Chile IGPA                     25827,90      0,57     24,57
 Argentina MerVal               27324,80      0,68     61,51
 Colombia IGBC                  11026,72     -0,62      8,87
 Venezuela IBC                   1311,26      3,62    -95,86
 Currencies                                daily %     YTD %
                                            change    change
 Brazil real                      3,3146      0,64     -1,97
 Mexico peso                     19,1535      0,02      8,30
 Chile peso                          639     -0,14      4,96
 Colombia peso                   2998,53     -0,22      0,10
 Peru sol                          3,259     -0,52      4,76
 Argentina peso (interbank)      17,5800     -0,74     -9,70
 Argentina peso (parallel)            18     -0,22     -6,56

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Frances Kerry)
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