EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks up to Jan high on US data

* U.S. payroll data spurs optimism about recovery

* Industrial output in Brazil higher than expected

* Brazil Bovespa up 0.8 pct, Mexico IPC up 1.2 pct

SAO PAULO, April 1 (Reuters) – Latin American stocks rose
to their highest level since the beginning of January on Friday
as better than expected jobs data in the United States helped
spur investor appetite for riskier assets.

The MSCI Latin American stocks index (.MILA00000PUS: Quote, Profile, Research) rose
1.4 percent, extending this week’s rally.

The region’s key stock indexes broke through key technical
barriers this week, fanning hopes that equities could begin the
second quarter strong after a disappointing start to the year.

U.S. employment notched a second straight months of solid
gains as the jobless rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8
percent. [ID:nNOAT00477]. The data underscored a decisive shift
in the labor market which should help bolster consumer demand
in the United States, a key trading partner for Latin America.

“The data reinforces expectations for a recovery of the
American economy and is strengthening the expectations for
global GDP this year,” said Alessandra Ribeiro, an economist
with the Tendencias Consultoria in Sao Paulo.

Underpinning such optimism, data on Friday showed Brazil’s
industrial output rose in a surprisingly strong pace in
February. [ID:nN01126425].

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index (.BVSP: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 0.81
percent to 69,145.68, hitting a two-month high following three
straight sessions of gains.

The index’s short-term resistance level is now at 70,000
after breaking through 68,000 on Thursday, said Rossano
Oltramari, an analyst with the brokerage XP Investimentos.

Financial stocks led the Bovespa’s gain. Exchange operator
BM&FBovespa (BVMF3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 2.87 percent, credit card operator
Cielo (CIEL3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 1.88 percent and rival credit card
operator Redecard (RDCD3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 2.33 percent.

Mexico’s IPC stock index (.MXX: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.20 percent, having
hit a two-month high on the strong employment data from the
United States, Mexico’s biggest trading partner.

The index has broken out of a descending channel on its
chart, suggesting the IPC may be stabilizing after a steady
downtrend since January that has cost the gauge nearly 3
percent during the first quarter.

America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) was the index’s biggest weighted
gainer. Shares in Latin America’s largest cell phone provider
jumped 1.2 percent to 34.94 pesos.

Mexico’s top retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico (WALMEXV.MX: Quote, Profile, Research)
surged 1.4 percent to 36.13 pesos.

Chile’s IPSA index (.IPSA: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.7 percent to nearly 4,703
points, also spurred by the upbeat U.S. payroll data.

The IPSA largely disconnected from markets abroad early in
the year, when the central bank announced a $12 billion
intervention in foreign exchange markets.
(Reporting by Silvio Cascione and Brian Ellsworth in Sao
Paulo; Editing by Andrew Hay)

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks up to Jan high on US data