February 4, 2019 / 10:34 PM / 7 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks rise, Brazil hits record closing high

 (Adds closing prices, analysts' view)
    By Aaron Saldanha
    Feb 4 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks notched a fifth
straight session of gains on Monday, aided by Brazilian equities
ending at a record closing high, while most Latin American
currencies were little changed against the dollar.    
    Mexico's stock market was closed for a holiday but Brazilian
equities gained as they traded for the first time since Senator
Davi Alcolumbre, an ally of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro,
won election over the weekend to become the head of Brazil's
Senate. His victory could make Bolsonaro's legislative efforts
to open the economy easier.
    MSCI's index of Latin American equities
gained half a percent, supported by a 0.7 rise in Brazilian
    Given Alcolumbre's win, markets were expecting reform in the
short term in line with Bolsonaro's intentions, analysts
Fernando Bresciani and Pedro Galdi at brokerage Mirae said.
    Bolsonaro, in a Sao Paulo hospital recovering from a
follow-up procedure after his stabbing during last year's
election campaign, said in a message to the National Congress on
Monday that a "modern" and "fraternal" proposal for pension
reform will be responsible for a major economic boost.

    Financial stocks were the major driver of gains on Brazil's
stocks benchmark, with Itaú Unibanco Holding SA
 closing 2.3 percent higher.
    Brazil's top private lender matched analysts' fourth quarter
profit estimates in results declared after markets closed.
    The benchmark shrugged off a 3.4 percent slide in mega miner
Vale SA. A Brazilian state court ordered the firm to
stop using eight tailings dams after a disaster last month, a
step that will crimp nearly 9 percent of the firm's annual iron
ore output.
    The real weakened about 0.25 percent. A Reuters poll
predicts Brazil's central bank will keep borrowing costs at a
record low later this week, where they will likely stay for the
rest of 2019.
    Mexico's peso was marginally weaker. Refinitiv data
showed trading volumes were about 20 percent of their average
over the past week.
    Chile's benchmark stocks index tacked on 0.4
percent. Its peso firmed, tracking a rise in prices of
copper, the country's top export.
    Stocks in Argentina rose 1.5 percent to clock a
record closing high as most sectors gained. 
    Argentina's peso was little changed, with the central
bank buying 75 million dollars in the market.    
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2133 GMT:  
 Stock indexes                  daily
                     Latest    change
 MSCI Emerging        1048.05    -0.2
 MSCI LatAm           2964.28    0.47
 Brazil Bovespa      98588.63    0.74
 Chile IPSA           5472.93    0.37
 Argentina MerVal    37145.00    1.49
 Colombia IGBC       12009.34    0.62
 Currencies                     daily
 Brazil real           3.6695    0.07
 Mexico peso          19.1025   -0.04
 Chile peso             652.1    0.26
 Colombia peso         3085.6    0.07
 Peru sol                3.33   -0.03
 Argentina peso       37.1300    0.16
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru and Paula Arend Laier
in Sao Paulo; editing by Grant McCool)
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