EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks up; Fibria shares jump on M&A reports

    By Bruno Federowski
    BRASILIA, March 12 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks rose on
Monday as reports that Paper Excellence made a formal bid to
acquire Fibria SA propped up shares in the Brazilian wood pulp
    Paper Excellence's bid values Fibria at 40 billion reais,
three people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Fibria shares jumped 3.5 percent to an all-time high.

    Shares of Suzano Papel e Celulose SA, which is
also negotiating a tie-up with Fibria, dropped 4.7 percent, the
largest decline in the benchmark Bovespa stock index,
which was up 0.3 percent.
    Also helping to drive equity markets higher, shares of JBS
SA rose over 5 percent as bargain-hunting lifted
shares of food processors for a second straight day.
    The sector suffered large losses earlier this month after
Brazilian police unveiled a probe into suspected fraud to evade
food safety checks at BRF SA, the world's largest
poultry exporter.
   More widely, most Latin American stock and currency markets
were range-bound as traders awaited further developments of U.S.
President Donald Trump's protectionist plans, after he slapped
tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
    How such policies would affect emerging market currencies is
not yet clear. While higher prices of imported goods could stoke
inflation and drive interest rates higher, they could also
weaken the ongoing economic recovery.
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1720 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily %   YTD %
                                     Latest    change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1222.06     1.23    4.21
 MSCI LatAm                          3123.19    -0.14   10.59
 Brazil Bovespa                     86590.40     0.25   13.34
 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC                 48831.29     0.57   -1.06
 Chile IPSA                          5642.18     0.09    1.39
 Chile IGPA                         28212.63     0.05    0.83
 Argentina MerVal                   33326.56     0.43   10.85
 Colombia IGBC                      11459.48    -0.36    0.78
 Venezuela IBC                       5374.95     4.97  -83.05
 Currencies                                   daily %   YTD %
                                               change  change
 Brazil real                          3.2634    -0.40   -0.44
 Mexico peso                         18.6265    -0.09   11.37
 Chile peso                            603.8    -0.36   11.08
 Colombia peso                       2853.43     0.43    5.19
 Peru sol                              3.259    -0.03    4.76
 Argentina peso (interbank)          20.2300     0.10  -21.53
 Argentina peso (parallel)             20.64    -0.15  -18.51
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; editing by Grant McCool)

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