Latam stocks jump over 2%, Brazil real leads currency gains
* Latam currencies up 0.8%, stocks rise 2.5%
* U.S. dollar falls, boosting riskier currencies
* Vale leads gains on Brazil's Bovespa as iron prices surge
By Bansari Mayur Kamdar
May 23 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks rose over 2% on Monday as risk sentiment improved globally and firm metal prices boosted the commodity-heavy indexes, while currencies rose against a weaker dollar.
The MSCI's index of Latam stocks .MILA00000PUS climbed 2.5%, outperforming the broader emerging market index .MSCIEF .
"We still have a dynamic where some of the Latam countries could benefit more than their emerging market peers just because they are better placed in this commodity rally and some of the central banks are a little more ahead of the curve," said Rachel Ziemba, founder at Ziemba Insights.
The U.S. dollar index =USD fell 0.8%, supporting riskier currencies, while an improvement in sentiment around China as Shanghai started edging out of lockdown also reassured investors.
The currencies index .MILA00000CUS advanced 0.8%, led by a 1.2% jump in the Brazilian real BRBY , BRL= .
Analysts see the Brazilian central bank's rate setting committee Copom raising interest rates to combat inflation and support its currency in its upcoming policy in June.
Still, Rabobank's senior strategist, Mauricio Une says the U.S. Federal Reserve's hawkishness and Brazil's traditional electoral cycle will end up weighing on the real going forward.
Meanwhile, miner Vale SA VALE3.SA led Brazil's Bovespa index .BVSP 1.8% higher, as iron ore prices surged after India raised export duties on some commodities to rein in inflationary pressures.
Copper prices climbed to their highest in more than two weeks, buoyed by declining inventories and a weaker dollar, lifting currencies of producers Chile CLP= and Peru PEN= up 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively.
The Mexican peso appreciated MXN= was flat in a market attentive to the upcoming monetary policy decisions by the Fed and the Bank of Mexico to combat inflation.
Inflation data from Mexico due later this weak is forecast to have slowed in the first half of May, although still far above central bank targets, reinforcing expectations of continued interest rate hikes through the rest of the year.
In Colombia, the candidates for the presidency closed their campaigns on Sunday with massive public events to gain the support of the voters for elections week.
The Colombian peso COP= was flat against the dollar.
Elsewhere, the Russian rouble's onshore rate RUBUTSTN=MCX firmed 4.5% against the dollar supported by capital controls and an upcoming month-end tax period.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1859 GMT:
Latest Daily %
change MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF
-0.06 MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS
2.5 Brazil Bovespa
1.85 Mexico IPC
0.26 Chile IPSA
2.92 Argentina MerVal
2.478 Colombia COLCAP
Latest Daily %
change Brazil real
1.36 Mexico peso
-0.22 Chile peso
0.83 Colombia peso COP=
0.01 Peru sol
0.30 Argentina peso (interbank) ARS=RASL
Argentina peso (parallel) ARSB=
Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski
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