EMERGING MARKETS-Latam assets hold ground amid trade fears as Brazil's real firms
By Aaron Saldanha
Nov 28 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks rose on Thursday, as gains in index heavyweight Brazil more than offset creeping doubts about a U.S.-China trade truce, while most currencies in the region slipped as investors stayed away from riskier assets.
Earlier in the day, China's Foreign Ministry warned of unspecified "firm counter measures" after U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Global markets were trading lower as investors dialed back on their optimism of an initial trade agreement being signed soon, Gabriel Casillas, chief economist and head of research at Banorte Research, wrote in a note. MKTS/GLOB
MSCI's Latin American stocks index .MILA00000PUS rose 0.3%, a move largely matched by the regional currencies benchmark .MILA00000CUS due to gains in Brazil's real BRL=.
Sao Paulo-traded equities .BVSP rose 0.3% as consumer staples and industrials overshadowed a drop in energy stocks and a flagging financial sector, which were pressured by a cap on interest rates on overdraft credit.
State-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) PETR3.SA fell 0.3%, as investors looked past the announcement of a planned expansion of output, paying more attention instead to a 0.6% decline in Brent crude futures LCOc1. O/R
In a bright spot, Brazil's real BRL= firmed 0.9%, after hitting an all-time closing low on Wednesday, and was on course to snap a four-session losing streak. Meanwhile, yields on local 10-year bonds BR10YT=RR rose 7.5 basis points to 7.075%.
Mexican stocks .MXX dipped 0.1%, while the peso MXN= softened by 0.4%. Minutes of the central bank's last monetary policy meeting released on Thursday showed the bank leaving the door open to future rate cuts against the backdrop of weaker than expected economic activity.
Chile's peso CLP= notched a record low, pummeled by a double whammy of sliding prices of copper CMCU3, the country's top export, on global trade fears and violent local protests. Stocks in Chile .SPIPSA slid 2.2%. MET/L
Meanwhile, Argentina's stocks .MERV rose 0.4%, while the peso ARS= marked time. President-elect Alberto Fernandez, who takes office next month, said he did not want to fall short on the country's debt obligations.
Colombia's peso COP= softened 0.4%, while stocks .COLCAP rose 0.7%, on course to record a closing gain for the first time this week, aided by rising financials such as Bancolombia BIC.CN.
Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1747 GMT:
Daily % change
MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF
MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS
Brazil Bovespa .BVSP
Mexico IPC .MXX
Chile SPIPSA .SPIPSA
Argentina MerVal .MERV
Colombia Colcap .COLCAP
Daily % change
Brazil real BRBY
Mexico peso MXN=D2
Chile peso CLP=CL
Colombia peso COP=
Peru sol PEN=PE
Argentina peso (interbank) ARS=RASL
(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft)
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