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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil, Argentina help LatAm buck emerging markets gloom

By Susan Mathew Oct 2 (Reuters) - Brazil's real hit a seven-week high on Tuesday, and the country's stock market jumped the most in nearly two years after a poll showed the market-preferred presidential candidate had clawed back ground, while the Argentine peso strengthened for a second straight day on more note sales.

The MSCI Latin American currency and stock indexes both gained, in sharp contrast with gloom in other emerging markets due to the dollar's gains, weak factory data in China and anti-euro comments by an Italian lawmaker.

Brazil's real hit a high of 3.9048 against the dollar before easing slightly. The benchmark stock index rose 3.9 percent to hover near two-month highs, led by financial and energy companies.

The jump came after the latest presidential election poll showed front-runner and market-preferred conservative candidate Jair Bolsonaro regaining lost ground against leftist rival Fernando Haddad.

Bolsonaro would likely win the first round vote this weekend, and tie with Haddad in a likely second round run-off, the poll showed. An earlier poll has predicted a second-round loss.

"Apparently the tide seems to have started to turn for Bolsonaro," Guide brokerage said in a research note. "Many were starting to forecast that Bolsonaro wasn't going to improve in the polls ... but yesterday's numbers showed a turnaround." Among stocks, oil company Petrobras jumped 8.3 percent. Banco Bradesco added 6.1 percent after the country's second-biggest lender announced plans to enter the active loan portfolio market with the acquisition of 65 percent of RCB Investments.

The Argentine peso closed 3.6 percent higher at 38 to the dollar, bringing its gains in the past two days to 7.8 percent.

The central bank sold 58.82 billion pesos ($1.40 billion) of seven-day 'Leliq' notes on Tuesday, with a interest rate of 69.465 percent. That followed a note sale worth 71.1 billion pesos on Monday.

The bank says it plans to offer Leliqs regularly to sop up excess liquidity to prevent nervous investors from buying dollars, as the country battles inflation expected to exceed 40 percent this year.

The Merval stock index broke a four-day losing streak, helped by a 3.9 percent rise in financial conglomerate Grupo Financiero Galicia.

The Mexican peso fell against the dollar as investors cautiously awaited details of the new United States-Mexico-Canada deal struck over the weekend.

Mexico's central bank is to hold its October meeting on Thursday and is seen keeping its benchmark interest rate steady at 7.75 percent as inflation slows.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2007 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 1033.53 -1.23 -9.67 MSCI LatAm 2637.35 2.85 -9.33 Brazil Bovespa 81672.72 3.88 6.90 Mexico IPC 49334.63 -1.02 -0.04 Chile IPSA 5323.49 0.47 0.47 Argentina MerVal 32715.65 0.4 8.81 Colombia IGBC 12515.71 -0.33 10.07 Currencies daily % YTD % change Latest change Brazil real 3.9299 0.10 -15.69 Mexico peso 18.7990 -0.49 4.79 Chile peso 658.4 -0.06 -6.64 Colombia peso 3016.8 -0.66 -1.15 Peru sol 3.312 -0.15 -2.26 Argentina peso (interbank) 38.0000 4.08 -51.05 Argentina peso (parallel) 38 1.32 -49.39 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)