April 12, 2018 / 10:35 PM / 8 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico stocks gain on credit outlook, NAFTA optimism

    SAO PAULO, April 12 (Reuters) - Mexican stocks and the peso
currency gained slightly on Thursday amid optimism over North
American Free Trade Agreement negotiations and a decision by
Moody's on Wednesday to raise the nation's credit outlook.
    The peso strengthened 0.11 percent against the U.S. dollar,
compared to Wednesday's reference price, as Mexico, the United
States and Canada near a hard-fought conclusion to talks to
overhaul NAFTA.
    The benchmark IPC stock index rose 0.52 percent, led
by Grupo Bimbo, which rose 3.92 percent after it
successfully placed a $500 million bond.    
    The Brazilian real fell 0.63 percent against the dollar on
Thursday, as weak retail sales figures raised bets of more
monetary easing in Latin America's largest economy.
    The Brazilian government said February retail sales
unexpectedly contracted, falling 0.2 percent from January, below
even the most pessimistic forecast of a 0.3 percent increase in
a Reuters poll of economists.
    Traders said the data cleared the way for the nation's
central bank to keep cutting the benchmark Selic rate, which
currently stands at 6.5 percent, keeping a lid on the real.
    
Key Latin American stock indexes at 2200 GMT:
 Stock indexes               Latest      Daily     YTD
                                           pct     pct
                                        change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets        1,176.88    0.11    1.59
                                                
 MSCI LatAm                   3,070.21    0.49    8.56
                                                
 Brazil Bovespa              85,443.53    0.23   11.83
 Mexico IPC                  48,782.56    0.52   -1.16
 Chile IPSA                   5,630.99    0.31    1.19
 Chile IGPA                  28,162.22    0.28    0.65
 Argentina MerVal            32,038.79    0.02    6.56
 Colombia IGBC               12,271.49   -0.26    7.92
 Venezuela IBC               12,416.06   25.24  882.95
   

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery, Claudia Violante and Miguel Angel
Gutierrez; Editing by Dan Grebler)
  
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