By Aaron Saldanha
Feb 25 () - Stocks in Latin America rose on Monday and the region's currencies firmed against a soft dollar after U.S. President Donald Trump fueled appetite for risky assets globally by delaying an increase in tariffs on U.S. imports from China.
The decision, though not unexpected, heightened hopes there will be a deal struck to end the bruising trade war between the world's top two economies, which has had a knock-on effect on emerging markets.
"We are still long EM, but would expect some profit taking when the deal is inked."
MSCI's index of emerging market stocks was up 0.9 percent, set for a sixth straight day of gains, its longest winning streak since May last year. The benchmark is trading about 13 percent higher from a late December low.
Stocks in index heavyweight China,, a key destination for Latin American resources exports, posted their biggest single-day gains in more than three and a half years.
Brazilian stocks edged up 0.2 percent, as gains across most sectors were tempered by losses incurred by energy shares.
Iron ore mining giant Vale SA rose 1.3 percent, building on Friday's 3.6 percent gain.
State-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which was weighed down by sliding oil prices, fell 1 percent.
Brazil's oil regulator said it started investigating Petrobras, whose preferred shares were down 0.9 percent on Monday, over an oil leak from an offshore platform over the weekend.
Planemaker Embraer SA slipped 0.6 percent after a judge issued an injunction on Friday to block a shareholder meeting regarding a tie-up with larger U.S. peer Boeing Co.
The Brazilian firm on Monday said it would take "appropriate measures" to overturn the decision.
Mexico's peso, considered by many to be a weather vane of trade sentiment, firmed about half a percent. The currency's trading volumes reached about 160 percent of their average volume over the last week, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.
Chile's peso rose 0.5 percent, following rising prices of copper, the country's key export.
Shares in Chile hit a five-month peak and were trading up 0.4 percent, aided by a strong showing among materials stocks.
Argentine stocks were up 1.2 percent, taking them to what would be their highest closing level in a week if the gains hold. The local peso was about 0.9 percent firmer.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1430 GMT
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MSCI Emerging Markets
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Argentina peso (interbank)