EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks buoyed by stimulus hopes, trade optimism
By Ambar Warrick
Sept 11 (Reuters) - Most Latin American stocks rose on Wednesday as the prospect of increased stimulus for major economies and positive cues from the Sino-U.S. trade front aided risk appetite, while currencies were mixed ahead of the European Central Bank's policy decision.
MSCI's index of Latin American stocks .MILA00000PUS rose 1.3%, holding near a one-month high, mirroring gains across global stock markets. MKTS/GLOB
Investors perceived as conciliatory a move from China to exempt certain U.S. products from additional retaliatory tariffs for a year.
Markets also awaited the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting on Thursday, where officials are widely expected to trim interest rates and introduce a stimulus package to shore up economic growth.
Brazilian stocks .BVSP firmed about 0.5%, with most support coming from consumer discretionary stocks after data showed that retail sales for July marked their best rise this year.
Retailers Lojas Renner SA LREN3.SA and Magazine Luiza SA MGLU3.SA rose about 2.5% and 4.6%, respectively, and were among the biggest boosts to the Bovespa.
Chilean stocks .SPIPSA rose about 1.6% to a more than one-month high as the country's equities continued to recover from a 2-1/2 year low in late-August.
Mexican .MXX and Colombian .IGBC equities added about 0.1% and 0.6%, respectively.
Mexico's government will give state-owned Pemex $5 billion so the world's most indebted oil company can pay off bonds, the company said earlier in the day.
Latin American currencies were mixed against a stronger dollar .DXY, with Brazil's real BRL= rising about 0.5% on the stronger retail sales reading. However, broader economic weakness in the country is expected to push Brazil's central bank to cut interest rates at a policy meeting next week.
The central bank has already cut interest rates to a record low of 6.00%.
"There's still an easing bias after this, so the market's obviously priced in a further easing trajectory from the BCB," said Sacha Tihanyi, deputy head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities.
"Chances are it (the real) is going to be dependent on broad dollar moves. Today's a bit of a deviation however, as the dollar's doing well against the euro."
The Chilean peso CLP= dropped 0.6% as prices of copper, the country's top export, dipped after a sharp fall in Chinese auto sales raised fears of weaker demand. MET/L
Chile's central bank Governor Mario Marcel told Reuters that Chile could be heading for its third interest rate cut within six months, with trade and political tensions adding much pressure on the economy.
Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1921 GMT:
Daily % change
MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF
MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS
Brazil Bovespa .BVSP
Mexico IPC .MXX
Chile IPSA .SPIPSA
Argentina MerVal .MERV
Colombia IGBC .IGBC
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 Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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