(Fixes typo in paragraph 5)
By Walker Simon
NEW YORK, March 4 (Reuters) - Brazil's stock market and
currency surged to their highest in at least six months after
police detained former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for
questioning on Friday in an investigation of a bribery and money
In international markets, the cost of insuring the country's
debt fell to a three-month low and bonds rallied.
A London-listed Brazilian exchange traded equity fund
IBZL.L jumped more than 11.0 percent to a seven-month high,
and in New York the iShares MSCI Brazil ETF EWZ.P jumped more
than 6.0 percent to highest since November.
Police said they had evidence that Lula received illicit
benefits from kickbacks at state oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA
PETR4.SA in the form of payments and luxury real estate.
The evidence against Lula also brings the operation closer
to his protegee and successor, President Dilma Rousseff, who is
fighting off impeachment and struggling to pull the country out
of its worst economic downturn in decades.
"Today Lula was arrested - maybe this is helping Brazilian
assets because of the idea that it will speed up the impeachment
process (of Rousseff)", said Guillaume Tresca, an emerging
markets senior strategist of Credit Agricole (PA: CAGR ) in Paris. "That is
a very long process, but it could trigger political change and
that is the only hope right now."
For months, Brazilian assets have often rallied when it
appears prospects increase of a change in government. Rousseff's
increased state intervention in the economy was unpopular with
business, though after her inauguration for a second term in
January she has rolled back some of the earlier initiatives.
Lula's detention is part of a sweeping two-year
investigation that has ensnared powerful lawmakers and business
executives and was sparked by probes into kickbacks to
politicians form Petrobras.
On foreign exchange markets, the real BRBY BRL surged
about 2.8 percent to 3.70 reais per dollar, its strongest
intraday high since early September. The rally also put it on
track to stage its strongest percentage gain since Sept. 24.
BRLUSD=R . It also put the currency on track to stage its
strongest weekly gain since October 2008.
The stock market's Bovespa index .BVSP rose 3.7 percent to
49,969 points, its strongest intraday high since Aug. 6
Brazilian 5-year credit default swaps, which insure debt
against default, fell 26 basis points on Thursday to 419 basis
Brazilian dollar-denominated bond prices rallied across the
maturity curve. The 2045 dollar bond price jumped 2.6 cents to
three-month highs US105756BW95 .
Colombia IGBC .IGBC 9617.62 0.4 12.52
Venezuela IBC .IBC 16435.65 1.03 12.66
Currencies daily % YTD %
Brazil real BRBY 3.7185 2.22 6.14
Mexico peso MXN=D2 17.8065 0.61 -3.24
Chile peso CLP=CL 682 0.73 4.06
Colombia peso COP= 3162.95 0.95 0.20
Peru sol PEN=PE 3.425 1.08 -0.32
Argentina peso (interbank) 15.2100 0.26 -14.64
Argentina peso (parallel) 15.66 1.53 -8.88
For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2016, see http://link.reuters.com/jus35t
For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2016, see http://link.reuters.com/weh36s
For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging Europe performance 2016, see http://link.reuters.com/jun28s
For GRAPHIC on MSCI frontier index performance 2016, see http://link.reuters.com/zyh97s
For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see CEE/
For TURKISH market report, see .IS
For RUSSIAN market report, see RU/RUB )
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