February 5, 2019 / 9:46 PM / 6 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Mexican stocks, peso buoyed by president's Pemex announcement

 (Recasts throughout, updates prices, adds market strategist's
    Feb 5 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks hit a nine-month
peak during trade on Tuesday, helped by Mexican shares, while
most currencies in the region dipped against a firm dollar.
    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would
soon announce measures to support state-run oil giant Pemex
         , fuelling broad-based risk sentiment towards assets in
Latin America's second-largest economy.
    Lopez Obrador said the fiscal burden of the firm - formally
known as Petroleos Mexicanos - would be cut "like never before."
His statement comes a week after rating agency Fitch downgraded
Pemex's credit to the last rung of investment grade.

    Gabriela Siller, director of economic analysis at Banco
Base, said the president's announcement "was very well received
by the market". 
    Mexican shares gained 1.4 percent and notched their
highest closing level in about three months, while the Mexican
peso firmed 0.4 percent in its best performance in nearly
two weeks.
    For the broader region, MSCI's index of Latin American
stocks hit its highest level since May 2018,
before giving up gains to dip 0.2 percent as a decline in
Brazilian shares weighed. The regional benchmark had gained in
each of the five previous sessions.       
    Sao Paulo-traded stocks dropped 0.3 percent. The
index retreated from Monday's all-time closing high, weighed on
primarily by a weak showing among financials.
    Preference shares of Itaú Unibanco Holding SA
tumbled 4.3 percent after the lender's loan growth forecast was
seen as conservative by analysts.    
    Brazil's real was a shade weaker against the dollar,
as traders eyed U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union
    Yields on local 10-year Brazilian bonds rose
further from multi-year lows clocked on Friday to touch ABOUT
8.81 percent. 
    Argentina's peso softened about 0.2 percent as the
country's central bank bought dollars, while the local stocks
benchmark rose 0.9 percent to clock a fresh record
closing high. 
    Colombia's peso tumbled 0.8 percent, amid lower
prices of oil - an important export - in the backdrop. Colombian
shares rose 0.9 percent.
    Chile's peso was 0.2 percent firmer on the back of
higher prices of copper, the country's top export. Local
stocks dipped 0.1 percent.        
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2122 GMT
 Stock indexes                 Latest         Daily
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1,051.90      0.37
 MSCI LatAm                      2,958.67     -0.19
 Brazil Bovespa                 98,311.20     -0.28
 Mexico IPC                     44,347.99      1.39
 Chile IPSA                      5,466.54     -0.12
 Argentina MerVal               37,471.67      0.88
 Colombia IGBC                  12,124.11      0.96
 Currencies                        Latest     Daily
 Brazil real                       3.6681     -0.07
 Mexico peso                      19.0350      0.36
 Chile peso                           651      0.17
 Colombia peso                   3,106.99     -0.69
 Peru sol                           3.324      0.18
 Argentina peso (interbank)       37.2000     -0.03
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru and Miguel Angel
Gutiérrez in Mexico City
Editing by Alistair Bell)
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