SAO PAULO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Brazilian markets on Wednesday led the gains in Latin America as government officials assured that they had not given up on plans to streamline the social security system. Brazilian stocks sold off on Tuesday as skepticism grew that unpopular President Michel Temer would manage to push through pension reform. Investors widely see the pension bill as key to curbing rising public debt and boosting long-term economic growth. But Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Wednesday that investors were wrong to think that the government had "thrown in the towel," the latest official to try and assuage market angst over the matter. A watered down version of the pension bill will be proposed this week, a Congressional whip said. "Investors are likely to maintain a shred of hope of some success this year still," analysts at H.Commcor brokerage wrote in a client note. The benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 0.5 percent after hitting a two-month low the day before. Shares of blue-chips Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Vale SA and Petróleo Brasileiro SA added the most points to the index. The Brazilian real strengthened 0.8 percent, the biggest gainer among currencies in Latin America, which were up across the board. The Mexican peso rose 0.4 percent, while the Colombian peso firmed 0.7 percent. Worries over possible delays to U.S. President Donald Trump's tax reform plans cooled expectations of increased inflation in the United States that could force the Federal Reserve to increase rates faster than expected. A slower path of rate hikes could fuel demand for emerging market assets, which offer high yields.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1720 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1133.55 -0.09 31.58 MSCI LatAm 2791.78 0.93 18.17 Brazil Bovespa 72799.45 0.53 20.87 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC 49000.22 -0.01 7.36 Chile IPSA 5487.90 -0.05 32.19 Chile IGPA 27589.63 -0.04 33.06 Argentina MerVal 28270.51 0.53 67.10 Colombia IGBC 10728.04 -0.12 5.92 Venezuela IBC 712.18 0.04 -97.75 Currencies daily % YTD % change change
Brazil real 3.2516 0.76 -0.07 Mexico peso 19.0795 0.38 8.72 Chile peso 631.5 0.45 6.21 Colombia peso 3014.5 0.65 -0.43 Peru sol 3.241 0.03 5.34 Argentina peso (interbank) 17.5300 0.74 -9.44 Argentina peso (parallel) 17.86 0.78 -5.82
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)