Brazil's real, Colombian peso jump as Fed dents dollar
* Peru's sol sits out EMFX rally, down 0.1%
* Colombian peso jumps 1% as oil price rise
* Ambev, Vale weigh on Bovespa
* Alsea, Cemex lift Mexico's benchmark index
By Susan Mathew and Shreyashi Sanyal
July 29 (Reuters) - Most Latin American stocks and currencies rallied on Thursday, with Brazil's real extending gains for a fourth straight session against a dollar dented by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's continued dovish stance.
Sentiment also got a lift from strong economic growth numbers from the United States and attempts by China to calm investor jitters spurred by regulatory actions there.
As the dollar fell to its lowest level in one month following the Fed's policy statement on Wednesday, MSCI's index of Latam currencies .MILA00000CUS rose 1.4%, set for its best session in 12 weeks, while its stocks counterpart .MILA00000PUS hit a two-week high, up 1.3%.
Brazil's real BRBY BRL= hit two-week highs. Upbeat economic data and expectations of tighter monetary policy have lifted the currency of late, with the latest set showing Brazil registered its strongest formal job growth in the first half of the year since 2010.
But political tensions and the COVID-19 crisis have capped gains. The number of COVID-19 infections in Brazil is approaching 20 million and the death toll is above 550,000.
"In view of the further development of the pandemic, there are unfortunately still considerable uncertainties, which I believe (Brazil's central bank) cannot ignore," said Alexandra Bechtel, an FX and EM analyst with Commerzbank. "In view of the high interest rate expectations in the market, I therefore think there is more potential for a setback for the BRL."
The Peruvian sol fell 0.1% after socialist Pedro Castillo assumed the presidency on Wednesday. He reassured investors there was "not the remotest" plan to nationalize the mining industry, but said he would seek "a new pact" with private investors.
Market experts await the make-up of his Cabinet to derive projections for economic indicators. Markets in Peru were closed for the independence day holiday.
Investors in Peru, the world's second biggest copper producer, have been fearful of changes to the mining industry as Castillo plans to rewrite the constitution.
"He stated that his administration will seek to accomplish the constitutional change by modifying the current legislation," said Credit Suisse analyst Alberto J. Rojas. "Mr. Castillo will find it difficult to accomplish his legislative objectives, considering his lack of support in the legislature."
Rising oil prices backed currencies of crude exporters, with Mexico's peso MXN= hitting two-week highs and Colombia's currency COP= jumping 1%.
Among regional shares, Brazil's Bovespa lagged as brewer Ambev ABEV3.SA and iron ore miner Vale VALE3.SA dropped after results.
Mexico's IPC index .MXX rose as restaurant operator Alsea ALSEA.MX added more than 3% after it reported a surprise profit, while cement producer Cemex SAB de CV CEMEXCPO.MX rose 1.7% after reporting a profit for the second quarter compared with a loss a year ago.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1848 GMT:
change MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF
2.21 MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS
1.31 Brazil Bovespa
-0.29 Mexico IPC
0.85 Chile IPSA
1.76 Argentina MerVal
1.167 Colombia COLCAP
change Brazil real
0.64 Mexico peso
0.23 Chile peso
0.96 Colombia peso COP=
0.62 Peru sol
0.00 Argentina peso (interbank) ARS=RASL
Argentina peso (parallel) ARSB=
Peru' sol YTD Link
Reporting by Susan Mathew & Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru;
Editing by Leslie Adler
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