Latin American stocks, FX set to outperform EM peers



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Latam currencies, stocks eye slim quarterly gains

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Brazil's real rises ahead of elections

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Investors confident Brazil to stay on course after vote

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Polls suggest Lula will beat incumbent Bolsonaro on Oct. 2

(Updates prices, comment)

By Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Amruta Khandekar

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Currencies and stocks of resource-heavy Latin American countries are set for slim gains this quarter, outperforming their emerging market peers, while Brazil's real gained on Friday ahead of the country's general elections.

Regional currencies .MILA00000CUS advanced 0.5% on Friday, but were set to record sharp losses in a week marked by jitters around rising interest rates, intensifying geopolitical tensions as well as the British government's controversial economic growth plan.

However, they are up 0.6% during the July-September period as opposed to broader emerging market (EM) currencies .MIEM00000CUS that have fallen 4.7% this quarter.

"It's a combination of higher commodity prices and also attractive interest rate carries in Latin America," said Brendan McKenna, international economist and FX strategist at Wells Fargo Securities.

The Brazilian real BRBY BRL= briefly fell against the dollar earlier in the session before rising 0.6%, ahead of voting on Sunday.

Voters head to the polls for a first-round presidential vote on Oct. 2, with former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a leftist, expanding his lead over far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in the latest polls.

"The market is already positioned for a Lula win. But with everything happening in the rest of the world, elections have taken a little bit of a backseat," said Christian Lawrence, senior cross-asset strategist at Rabobank.

Meanwhile, data showed Brazil's jobless rate continued to hover around its lowest levels in almost seven years in the three months through August, while its gross debt continued to fall in August.

Brazil's central bank will persevere in its monetary policy strategy until market inflation expectations for 2024 go down, the central bank's director of international affairs, Fernanda Guardado,

said

.

Brazil shares .BVSP gained 2.2%.

The Brazilian real and stocks have rallied this year in a sign of confidence the election won't ruin the relative safe-haven status of Latin America's largest economy, with investors cautiously looking for a calm transition as Bolsonaro appears to lay the groundwork to contest a defeat.

Latin American stocks .MILA00000PUS advanced 2%. The index has risen 1.3% this quarter, outperforming the 12.6% loss in emerging market equities .MSCIEF .

The Colombian peso COP= was down 1.8%, while the Mexican peso MXN= gained 0.3%.

"The political environment in Mexico is more stable than most of the Latam regions. You have very attractive interest rates and a very deep liquid market," said Lawrence.

Colombia's urban jobless rate fell to 10.8% in August from 13.4% in the same month last year, data

showed

.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1910 GMT: Stock indexes

Latest

Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets

874.88

0.18 .MSCIEF

MSCI LatAm

2067.40

1.98 .MILA00000PUS

Brazil Bovespa

109948.37

2.12 .BVSP

Mexico IPC

44877.44

-0.5 .MXX

Chile IPSA

5115.35

1.59 .SPIPSA

Argentina MerVal

139031.30

0.744 .MERV

Colombia COLCAP

1138.84

0.27 .COLCAP

Currencies

Latest

Daily % change Brazil real

5.3694

0.44 BRBY

Mexico peso

20.1182

0.21 MXN=D2

Chile peso

966.9

-0.46 CLP=CL

Colombia peso COP=

4604.13

-1.77 Peru sol

3.9747

-0.32 PEN=PE

Argentina peso

147.3100

-0.16 (interbank) ARS=RASL

Argentina peso

284

1.41 (parallel) ARSB=



Lula vs Bolsonaro Lula vs Bolsonaro Link



Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Amruta Khandekar in
Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao and Marguerita Choy

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