By Bruno Federowski BRASILIA, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks advanced on Thursday on the heels of rising prices of crude and U.S. equities, while shares of Ultrapar Participações SA soared after the fuel distributor announced a dividend payout.
The benchmark Bovespa stock index was up 0.5 percent, outperforming other regional equity indexes, which were either flat or lower.
The move upward tracked gains in U.S. stocks after Apple became the first $1 trillion publicly listed U.S. company, leading a rebound in technology stocks and pushing the benchmark S&P 500 and the Nasdaq higher.
Crude prices rose after release of an industry report suggesting U.S. crude stockpiles would soon begin to decline again, helping to lift shares of state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA.
Ultrapar was by far the biggest riser on the benchmark index, posting its biggest daily gain in seven years. The company announced it will pay 304.24 million reais ($81 million) in dividends, outshining mostly lackluster second-quarter earnings.
The Brazilian real was flat, in line with other little-changed currencies in the region.
Concerns over escalating trade tensions between the United States and China have hurt demand for risky assets, weighing on appetite for emerging-market currencies.
But market sentiment improved after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that tariffs the United States is threatening to impose on Chinese goods would not be disastrous because they represent less than 1 percent of the country's economy.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1730 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 1066.92 -1.84 -6.18 MSCI LatAm 2694.88 -0.41 -4.32 Brazil Bovespa 79711.63 0.52 4.33 Mexico IPC 49027.56 -0.85 -0.66 Chile IPSA 5393.66 -0.09 -3.07 Chile IGPA 27175.93 -0.04 -2.88 Argentina MerVal 29151.92 -0.8 -3.04 Colombia IGBC 12168.69 -0.45 7.02 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.7574 0.00 -11.82 Mexico peso 18.6125 -0.12 5.84 Chile peso 643.65 -0.17 -4.51 Colombia peso 2903.5 -0.31 2.70 Peru sol 3.273 -0.03 -1.10 Argentina peso (interbank) 27.5100 0.05 -32.39 Argentina peso (parallel) 28.15 0.18 -31.69 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski)