EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil markets recover as economy minister quashes resignation bets

    * Brazil's real recovers from 12-week low
    * Stimulus hopes bring cheer to Mexican peso
    * U.S., Colombia to bring $5 bln in investment to rural
    * Chile's Q2 GDP plunges, but mining industry grows; peso up
    * Brazilian retailer Magazine Luiza jumps after results

    By Susan Mathew
    Aug 18 (Reuters) - Brazil's real rallied on Tuesday after
Economy Minister Paulo Guedes put to rest speculation about his
imminent departure, while Mexico's peso resumed its winning
streak as the country's  president said an economic recovery
plan would be unveiled in two weeks. 
    Against a sinking dollar, Brazil's real firmed 0.7%,
recovering from its lowest level since May. The Bovespa
stock index was headed toward its best day in three
weeks, aided also by upbeat earnings from retailer Magazine
    Guedes, who is the Brazil government's remaining 'super
minister,' said late on Monday he had the full confidence of
President Jair Bolsonaro. Speculation was rife that political
pressure for more public spending could force him to quit,
sending Brazil markets well into the red on Monday.

    The country has seen a slew of ministerial resignations in
the past few months over differences with the administration,
increasing political uncertainty and with it doubts about the
future of reforms in the country.
    Lower house speaker Rodrigo Maia on Monday said he is
confident congress will approve tax reform this year.
    FX Strategists at Citigroup warn that while Guedes'
assurances that the spending cap will not be breached may calm
markets for the time being, the pressure to increase public
spending will remain high as long as the COVID-19 outbreak
remains uncontrolled.
    Brazil had registered 3.4 million cases of the disease and
more than 108,000 related deaths as of Monday.
    In Mexico, the peso rose 0.4%, up for the fifth time
in six. The plan to revive the economy from the coronavirus
pandemic would target sectors like construction and energy,
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday.

    Despite falling oil prices, crude exporter Colombia's peso
 broke a four-session losing run after officials on Monday
said the United States and Colombia will work together on an
investment initiative of up to $5 billion in private funds for
rural areas over three years.
    A surge in copper prices, meanwhile, helped investors look
past a 14.1% plunge in GDP of the red metal's top exporter,
Chile. The country's peso was on track for its best
session in a month as the data showed mining remained a bright
spot, with the industry growing 1.6% despite the pandemic.

    Argentina's peso, returned from an extended weekend
to plumb to new lows, even as creditors reaffirmed their support
for the government's amended bond restructuring offer, which was
 filed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1431 GMT:
  Stock indexes           Latest   Daily %
 MSCI Emerging Markets    1103.64     0.33
 MSCI LatAm               2000.58        1
 Brazil Bovespa         101591.80        2
 Mexico IPC              39112.56    -0.44
 Chile IPSA               4045.37     0.11
 Argentina MerVal        46967.65   -3.255
 Colombia COLCAP          1151.44    -0.16
      Currencies          Latest   Daily %
 Brazil real               5.4578     0.68
 Mexico peso              22.1066     0.27
 Chile peso                 795.5     1.45
 Colombia peso            3783.45    -0.08
 Peru sol                  3.5768     0.03
 Argentina peso           89.0000   -17.80
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru;)

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