Brazilian stock market up 1%; Electrobras shares soar 18%

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa index jumped more than 1% on Wednesday in low-volume trading on the U.S. Independence Day holiday, while shares of Brazilian power utility Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA soared.

Financial markets across Latin America were range bound as traders avoided making big bets amid low liquidity after days of heightened volatility. Wall Street indexes were all closed on Wednesday in observance of the holiday.

Emerging markets have been battered by concerns over a potential trade war between the United States and China, as well as local political woes.

“Trading volumes are very low, it will be hard to determine a trend for the markets today,” a trader at a São Paulo-based brokerage said.

The Mexican peso inched up 0.14% on Wednesday, extending a rebound after advisors to Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador sought to assuage investors’ worries. The head of Mexico’s business lobby met with the president-elect on Wednesday, describing the encounter as one of certainty and trust.

In Brazil, shares of power utility Eletrobras soared nearly 18% after the lower house of Congress late on Tuesday agreed to speed approval of a bill seen as key to the sale of some of the firm’s money-losing distribution units.

The vote speeds up a project dealing with the debt of six Eletrobras distribution units, seen as a major sticking point for any potential sale.

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