By Susan Mathew March 31 (Reuters) - Most Latin American stocks and currencies rose on Tuesday, in line with broader emerging market peers, as unexpectedly positive China economic data lifted sentiment at the end of a calamitous quarter. Data on Tuesday showed China's March factory activity expanded more than expected after a collapse last month, but analysts warn that it may not be sustained in the coming months as the coronavirus pandemic saps foreign demand. Mexico's peso was last trading 0.8% higher against a stronger dollar in volatile trade. Mexico declared a health emergency on Monday after the number of coronavirus infections in the country exceeded 1,000. The government has not ordered a lockdown or other drastic measures on concerns Mexico's already slumping economy would take an even bigger hit. The peso is one of the worst performing emerging market currencies this quarter, down about 21% for its steepest quarterly loss since 1995, thanks to sliding oil prices. "Oil prices are now well below the levels that all major EM producers require to sustain their economic models/public finances. So, countries such as Saudi (Arabia) and Russia will have to choose between running down reserves or significantly cutting public spending," David Rees, emerging markets strategist at J. Safra Sarasin Asset Management, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum. "Neither will want to really do either, and I would not be surprised to see some kind of deal on production amongst OPEC+. But weak demand may prevent crude from rising strongly in the near term, keeping petro currencies weak." On Tuesday, however, oil prices took heart from the United States and Russia agreeing to talks to stabilize energy markets. Colombia's peso rose on the day, but the crude exporter's currency declined about 18% on the quarter. In Brazil, the jobless rate rose in the three months through February, data showed. President Jair Bolsonaro has been making the case for continued economic activity to save jobs, even as the number of infected cases in the country has risen to more than 4,500. Brazil's Senate passed a 50 billion reais rescue package on Monday. "The lack of action by Bolsonaro risks a major outbreak of the virus. The public finances are not good and extremely low rates and weak BRL dynamics mean it is hard to really get paid for the risk," Rees said. The real gained 0.2% while stocks traded flat. On the quarter, the currency is down almost 23% - its worst performance since 2002, while stocks broke a six-quarter winning streak. Global fund managers recommended increasing bond holdings in March to the highest level in at least seven years while buffering up on cash at the expense of equities, a Reuters poll showed. Argentina's market were closed for a local holiday. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1431 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 849.65 2.12 MSCI LatAm 1598.29 1.09 Brazil Bovespa 74678.40 0.05 Mexico IPC 34535.13 0.98 Chile IPSA 3456.14 4.22 Colombia COLCAP 1126.63 -0.23 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.1844 -0.09 Mexico peso 23.5970 0.81 Chile peso 850.7 0.13 Colombia peso 4052.57 0.21 Peru sol 3.4277 0.29 (Reporting by Susan Mathew and Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru Editing by Paul Simao)
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