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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks rebound on bargain hunting; political woes linger

linger@ SAO PAULO, May 23 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks rebounded on Tuesday as investors hunted for bargains after a political scandal broke out last week, triggering a wide selloff. Still, concerns over the future of an ambitious reform agenda, seen as key to restoring Brazil's economic growth, kept a lid on market gains, with the real almost flat. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 1.5 percent after losing 8.7 percent in the three previous trading days. Blue-chip companies, such as lenders Itaú Unibanco Holding SA and Ambev SA, added the most points to the index. Conversely, shares of export-oriented companies, which have rallied as the real tumbled, traded slightly higher. JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker whose controlling shareholders are at the center of the scandal, extended their recent slide, as downgrades by ratings agencies Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investor Services fostered concerns over funding costs. Currencies from other Latin American economies seesawed, tracking prices of commodities as traders awaited further triggers. Oil-related currencies, such as Colombia's and Mexico's pesos, firmed slightly as expectations of an OPEC-led cut to global crude output lifted prices of oil futures. The Chilean peso, however, weakened 0.5 percent, in line with a decline in prices of copper, a key export, as traders saw a drop in Chinese imports as a sign of healthy supply worldwide.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1615 GMT:

Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1003.19 -0.05 16.4 MSCI LatAm 2526.75 1.05 6.83 Brazil Bovespa 62600.53 1.5 3.94 Mexico IPC 48958.24 0.03 7.26 Chile IPSA 4823.37 0.43 16.19 Chile IGPA 24216.67 0.39 16.80 Argentina MerVal 21490.49 -0.04 27.03 Colombia IGBC 10749.92 0.37 6.14 Venezuela IBC 72297.13 -0.49 128.03 Currencies daily % YTD % change change

Latest

Brazil real 3.2759 -0.03 -0.82 Mexico peso 18.6305 0.17 11.34 Chile peso 673.62 -0.48 -0.43 Colombia peso 2902.9 0.04 3.40 Peru sol 3.282 -0.21 4.02 Argentina peso (interbank) 16.0500 0.86 -1.09 Argentina peso (parallel) 16.24 -0.12 3.57

(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Diane Craft)