EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks battered by election uncertainty

BRASILIA, April 9 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks fell on Monday as traders fretted over the hardest-to-predict presidential elections in decades, although meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods SA soared after it said it would acquire

control of U.S.-based National Beef Packing Co .

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva turned himself in to police on Saturday to begin serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption that derails his bid to return to power.

Lula, who had criticized the government's efforts to cut social security spending, had easily led voting polls, unnerving traders who saw those austerity plans as key to curbing growth of public debt. Investors expect Lula to continue to exert influence over an election that is now without an obvious front-runner. "With all that uncertainty, it is natural that local markets demand a higher risk premium," said a manager at a Rio de Janeiro-based brokerage. The benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 1.78 percent, the only decliner among Latin America's main equity indexes, which were mostly range-bound. In Mexico, the IPC index rose 0.28 percent, following movements in the United States. Mexico's peso depreciated 0.3 percent as the government said it would review all its cooperation with the United States, in a sign of President Enrique Pena Nieto's increasing frustration with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump's treatment of Mexico.

Key Latin American stock indexes at 2130 GMT:

Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct change


MSCI Emerging Markets 1,163.07 0.09 0.4 MSCI LatAm 2,998.85 -0.99 6.04 Brazil Bovespa 83,307.23 -1.78 9.04 Mexico IPC 48,058.96 0.28 -2.62 Chile IPSA 5,632.71 0.89 1.22 Chile IGPA 28,012.69 0.14 0.11 Argentina MerVal 31,844.43 0.33 5.92 Colombia IGBC 11,959.03 0.67 5.17 Venezuela IBC 6,433.71 7.03 409.34

(Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Christine Murray Editing by Leslie Adler)