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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX, stocks rise as dollar dogged by election jitters

Ambar Warrick and Shreyashi Sanyal
·3 min read

* Brazil's real reverses gains * Markets pricing in a Biden win * Latam FX to benefit from Biden win- Reuters poll (Updates prices throughout, adds comments) By Ambar Warrick and Shreyashi Sanyal Nov 3 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies and equities rose on Tuesday, recovering from recent falls as the dollar weakened going into the U.S. presidential election, while Brazil's real abandoned early gains to trade lower. The day's gains in Latin America, and broader emerging markets were underpinned by investors pricing in a Joe Biden victory in the U.S. presidential election. "A Biden victory is more supportive for EM currencies in general. The biggest risk to EM currencies is a contested outcome from the election, to go a week or two without knowing who the next president is will have a negative impact," said Jeff Grills, head of emerging markets debt at Aegon Asset Management. Analysts believe a Biden win would pressure the dollar as he is expected to spend big on stimulus and take a freer approach to trade, which is likely to benefit other currencies. The real shed 0.3% after rising more than 1% earlier in the session after a survey showed manufacturing activity reached a record high in October. The real is the worst performing emerging market currency so far this year. Aegon's Grills said Brazil's aggressive cutting of interest rates has reduced the relative attractiveness of the real against other historically high-yielding currencies. "The question now is what will growth look like in 2021?" he said. Brazilian stocks rose 1.4% after a long weekend. Minutes from Brazil's latest central bank meeting struck a more hawkish tone than its Oct. 27-28 policy statement which pointed to low interest rates for a long time. Mexico's peso rose 0.6% after a rough start to the week. Still, the currency, and Colombia's peso are expected to stay under pressure from weakness in the oil market. Chile's peso jumped to a more than two-week high as improving factory data around the globe boosted prices for copper, the country's largest export. Argentina's wide gap between its official peso spot rate and closely watched prices of the currency in alternative and black markets has narrowed amid signals the central bank will tighten its funding of government spending. Latin American stocks also rose on the day. The MSCI's index of stocks added 1.5%. A Reuters poll said Latin American currencies are poised to edge up in the event of a Democrat win, but domestic challenges will continue to hold them back. The coronavirus pandemic had exacerbated economic problems in Latin America, raising concerns over the fiscal strength of several major economies as economic output dropped and governments took on more debt to cushion the pandemic's impact. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1939 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1119.41 0.42 MSCI LatAm 1838.62 1.51 Brazil Bovespa 95220.24 1.35 Mexico IPC 37466.86 1.3 Chile IPSA 3520.49 -1.42 Argentina MerVal 47991.14 1.103 Colombia COLCAP 1154.84 1.59 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.7534 -0.28 Mexico peso 21.2508 0.58 Chile peso 757.8 1.28 Colombia peso 3817.5 1.19 Peru sol 3.5908 0.67 Argentina peso (interbank) 78.9200 -0.29 Argentina peso (parallel) 161 4.35 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise; Editing by Andrea Ricci)