(Recasts with NAFTA talks, updates prices) SAO PAULO, March 5 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso currency and its benchmark stock index both made modest gains on Monday as the latest round of talks aimed at updating the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ended amid reports of some progress. As the seventh round of NAFTA talks wrapped up, the peso reversed losses earlier in the day to close up 0.05 percent, while the country's S&P/BMV IPC stock exchange rose 0.36 percent. Gains were lead by miner Grupo Mexico, up 3.72 percent. Shares of its rail unit GMexico Transportes will be listed on the S&P/BMV IPC index after March 20. In comments following the end of the round of NAFTA talks, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer suggested that President Donald Trump's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum serve as an "incentive" for Canada and Mexico to reach a deal.
Canadian negotiators described the tariffs on the metals as unacceptable, while the Mexican side emphasized that the NAFTA talks should pick up speed ahead of a July presidential election. In Brazil, the benchmark Bovespa index gained 0.3 percent, although new corruption revelations sent shares in food companies plummeting. Early on Monday, Brazilian federal police said they arrested the former chief executive of food processor BRF SA on charges that he and other executives were aware that the company committed fraud in trying to avoid food safety checks.
BRF plunged 19 percent in Sao Paulo, and shares in other Brazilian food companies JBS SA and Marfrig Global Foods SA also took a hit, falling 5.0 percent and nearly 1.0 percent, respectively. Other Brazilian sectors including telecoms, finance, and consumer discretionary were in the black, boosted by general optimism over the possibility of monetary easing in Latin America's biggest economy and positive developments in global commodities markets.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2156 GMT:
Stock indexes Latest daily % change YTD % change MSCI Emerging 1176.12 -0.5 1.53
MSCI LatAm 3085.71 0.65 9.11 Brazil Bovespa 86022.83 0.3 12.59 Mexico IPC 47720.91 0.36 -3.31 Chile IPSA 5538.52 -0.13 -0.47 Chile IGPA 27765.32 -0.12 -0.77 Argentina MerVal 32133.74 0.73 6.88 Colombia IGBC 11385.90 1.05 0.13 Venezuela IBC 4296.88 3.24 240.17 Currencies Latest daily % change YTD % change Brazil real 3.2424 0.15 2.19 Mexico peso 18.8000 0.05 4.78 Chile peso 598 0.00 2.78 Colombia peso 2854.5 0.40 4.47 Peru sol 3.252 0.00 -0.46 Argentina peso 20.2000 0.50 -7.92
Argentina peso 20.23 0.84 -4.94
(Reporting by Gram Slattery, Flavia Bohone and David Alire Garcia Editing by Frances Kerry and Rosalba O'Brien)