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EMERGING MARKETS-Ecuador bonds rally after surprise election result; supports Peru's sol

Susan Mathew
·3-min read
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* Ecuador bonds hit 7-month high * Guillermo Lasso wins presidential runoff in Ecuador * Peruvian sol ends flat as cenbank intervenes to stop slide * Far-left Peruvian presidential candidate set to win first round (Updates prices, adds comment) By Susan Mathew April 12 (Reuters) - Bonds in Ecuador rallied to a seven month high on Monday after banker Guillermo Lasso pulled off a surprise win in Sunday's presidential runoff against socialist economist Andres Arauz, while central bank intervention cushioned Peru's sol. The sol and Peruvian stocks had tumbled earlier in the session after a far-left candidate, Pedro Castillo, won the first round of Peru's presidential election on Sunday. In Ecuador, Lasso took 52% of the vote in a runoff on promises to revive the economy, following a campaign that pitted his free market economic ideas against the social welfare plans of economist Arauz. Ecuador's recently restructured bonds rose sharply, with July 2035 paper up 12 cents to 61.6 cents on the dollar, a level not seen since September, and the July 2030 bond up nearly 16 cents to 76 cents on the dollar, according to MarketAxess data. "There is little doubt this result reduces short-term economic uncertainty," said strategists at Citi Research. However, they added: "Thinking about the medium and long terms, our view remains that Ecuador's economic challenges (especially on the fiscal front) are very large which, coupled with the fact that Lasso did not receive a strong mandate, makes us cautious." PERUVIAN JOLT Peru is set for a divisive presidential run-off between its ascendant socialists, who have been buoyed by voter discontent over the economy and the pandemic, and the conservative heir of the powerful but polarizing Fujimori dynasty. The country's stock index slumped 2% to post its worst day in five months, while the sol reversed losses to close up 0.11% at 3,617 per dollar after the central bank intervened to support the currency which fell more than 2%. The far-left candidate's success has jolted investors. "Castillo's three pillars are pretty scary. He's talking about nationalisation, about the government taking control of the economy... it's something that could bring significant volatility to the market, just to the bonds overall," said Alejandro Arevalo, emerging market debt manager at Jupiter Asset Management. Other Latam currencies pared gains and tuned to losses with all eyes on U.S. consumer price inflation data, ahead of which the dollar traded steady. Brazil's real erased gains to trade almost 1% lower, while Mexico's peso traded flat. As oil prices pared some gains, crude exporter Colombia's peso extended losses to a second day. While most main stock indexes joined a rout in global stocks ahead of U.S. inflation data and earnings, Brazil's Bovespa index outperformed, up 0.6%, led by financials and material stocks. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1904 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1320.65 -0.73 MSCI LatAm 2318.92 -0.77 Brazil Bovespa 118413.95 0.63 Mexico IPC 47290.33 -0.71 Chile IPSA 4944.90 -0.27 Argentina MerVal 48080.99 -1.566 Colombia COLCAP 1315.98 -0.46 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.7293 -0.99 Mexico peso 20.1731 -0.13 Chile peso 713.2 -0.22 Colombia peso 3663.51 -0.15 Peru sol 3.6167 0.09 Argentina peso 92.5700 -0.14 (interbank) (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru and Tom Arnold in London; Editing by Gareth Jones)