EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks gain; Brazil's real up on economic recovery hopes
By Shreyashi Sanyal and Ambar Warrick
July 14 (Reuters) - Brazil's real and its Latin American peers rose on Tuesday on improving economic data in the region's largest economy, although broader sentiment was constrained by increasing coronavirus cases.
The real BRBY added 1%, bouncing back from session lows as data showed monthly economic activity in Brazil began to grow again in May, after two sharp consecutive declines in March and April.
Brazil's Bovespa stock index .BVSP also rose, eyeing its strongest close in more than four months on the back of material stocks.
Iron ore miner Vale VALE3.SA was among the biggest boosts to the Bovespa, tracking strength in prices of the commodity, which have been supported by hopes of increased demand from China. IRONORE/
Mexico's peso MXN= rose 1.5% against the dollar. Recent data from the country have suggested that the worst is likely over but with limits on economic activity as the coronavirus spreads rapidly.
"The government is sticking to its austerity course and is offering only little financial aid to the economy," Commerzbank analysts wrote in a client note. "Against this background, the economic recovery is likely to be very slow."
Most currencies in the region have regained some lost ground from a steep sell-off in March, but high dollar demand and loosening monetary policy have kept them rangebound.
Still, some commodity-linked currencies have outperformed in recent weeks on improving raw material prices.
The Chilean peso CLP= was flat as copper prices fell on Tuesday, while oil-exporter Colombia's peso COP= mirrored a dip in crude prices.
Investors also awaited a policy statement from the Chilean central bank on Wednesday, which will likely show the benchmark interest rate remained at 0.5% in July.
Risk appetite was sparse in global equity markets after a reintroduction of coronavirus restrictions in the U.S. state of California offset encouraging earnings reports from big banks on Wall Street. .N
COVID-19 cases continued to spike in South America and other countries. A Reuters count on Monday showed that coronavirus-related deaths in Latin America had exceeded the figure for North America, for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Simmering U.S.-China tensions also hit sentiment after the Washington rejected Beijing's claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
Daily % change
MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF
MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS
Brazil Bovespa .BVSP
Mexico IPC .MXX
Chile IPSA .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 Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang)
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