Latam stocks rally; Brazil's real firms after c.bank comments



* Much of work on interest rates is done - Brazil cenbank

* Ecuador could stop pumping oil within 48 hours due to protests

* Petrobras shares surge, elects new CEO

* Argentina tightens FX access to protect forex reserves (Updates prices)

By Susan Mathew

June 27 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks rallied on Monday, tracking broader emerging market peers, while Brazil's real moved away from multi-month lows after the central bank said the inflation surge could start to slow.

The real BRBY rose 0.5% after hovering at its lowest since February.

Brazil's central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto said on Monday that much of the bank's work on interest rates was done and was now expected to slow down the inflationary process.

Brazil's benchmark Selic rate was hiked by 50 basis points to 13.25% this month, and more were signaled.

"Campos' speech ... is in line with our call of a 50bps hike of Selic rate in August," wrote strategists at Citigroup.

"But risks of additional hikes keep rising," they said, given the higher than midpoint target inflation forecast for 2023. They expect the central bank to start cutting rates only in the second half of 2023.

Most other Latam currencies fell against a weaker dollar.

In Ecuador, oil production could be suspended completely within 48 hours over "acts of vandalism, taking over wells and closing roads", the energy ministry said on Sunday.

The country, which was pumping around 520,000 barrels per day has been embroiled in mass anti-government protests since June 13, with calls for lower prices for fuel, food and other basics.

President Guillermo Lasso announced a price cut for gasoline and diesel by 10 cents a gallon, but indigenous organizations deemed it insufficient.

Among stocks, even as Wall Street slipped, Latam bourses rallied between 1.2% and 2.5%. Easing COVID-19 restrictions in China lifted the mood as it allayed some concerns about the hit to economic growth in the world's second largest economy.

This comes after sentiment globally got a lift late last week as traders scaled back bets on how high the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.

The broader index of EM shares .MSCIEF rose 1.6%.

Brazil's Bovespa index .BVSP was on course for its best session in more than three months as oil major Petrobras PETR4.SA jumped 5.9%.

Petrobras' board elected former economy ministry official Caio Paes de Andrade as its new chief executive. Andrade is set to replace interim CEO Fernando Borges.

In Argentina, the highly controlled peso ARS= fell 0.4%. The central bank tightened access to foreign exchange markets for importers including buyers of high-end products like luxury cars and private jets, as it sought to protect low levels of foreign currency reserves.

Markets in Chile and Colombia were closed for local holidays.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1857 GMT: Stock indexes

Latest

Daily %

change MSCI Emerging Markets

1026.90

1.55 .MSCIEF

MSCI LatAm

2091.68

1.99 .MILA00000PUS

Brazil Bovespa

100700.92

2.06 .BVSP

Mexico IPC

48324.72

1.22 .MXX

Argentina MerVal

84678.21

2.509 .MERV

Currencies

Latest

Daily %

change Brazil real

5.2250

0.48 BRBY

Mexico peso

19.9119

-0.31 MXN=D2

Peru sol

3.7648

0.11 PEN=PE

Argentina peso

124.7000

-0.35 (interbank) ARS=RASL


Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams and Alistair Bell

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