March 23, 2018 / 6:48 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Trade jitters, base metals weigh on LatAm equities

    SAO PAULO, March 23 (Reuters) - Trade jitters weighed on
Latin American equities on Friday, with stocks and markets
significantly exposed to base metals taking a serious hit.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has continued to push measures
this week that many consider protectionist, and on Friday the
United States launched a complaint against China at the World
Trade Organization regarding patents.
    In response to Trump's measures, European Union leaders
continued to talk tough, with French President Emmanuel Macron
accusing the U.S. president of putting a "gun" to the European
Union's head. U.S. tariff measures also met a barrage of
criticism from politicians in Japan, Australia and several other
countries at a World Trade Organization meeting on Friday.

    The trade war talk had a significant impact on base metals,
such as copper, which hit its lowest price since
    The IPSA, the benchmark index in copper-dependent
Chile, slid 0.49 percent in afternoon trade. Mexico's IPC index
 was the biggest loser in the region, skidding 1.16
percent, with Grupo Mexico SAB de CV - a major
copper producer - plunging 3.9 percent and dragging down the
index as a whole.
    Analysts at Banco BASE said in a note to clients that the
continued strong performance in the polls of Mexican left-wing
presidential contender Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was weighing
on stocks. A poll released on Friday showed Lopez Obrador having
extended his lead over rivals heading into the July 1 election.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1826 GMT: 
 Stock indexes             Latest          Daily   YTD pct
                                             pct    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets        1,174.81     -1.83       3.3
 MSCI LatAm                   3,031.00      0.07       7.1
 Brazil Bovespa              85,179.07      0.49     11.49
 Mexico IPC                  46,813.64     -1.16     -5.15
 Chile IPSA                   5,489.14     -0.49     -1.36
 Chile IGPA                  27,529.54     -0.48     -1.61
 Argentina MerVal            31,730.26     -0.56      5.54
 Colombia IGBC               11,458.85      0.17      0.78
 Venezuela IBC                5,580.44    -12.59    -82.40
 Currencies                     Latest     Daily   YTD pct
                                             pct    change
 Brazil real                    3.3054      0.11      0.24
 Mexico peso                   18.5070      0.72      6.44
 Chile peso                      607.3      0.19      1.21
 Colombia peso                 2,842.5      0.56      4.91
 Peru sol                        3.221      0.47      0.50
 Argentina peso                20.1875      0.19     -7.86
 Argentina peso                  20.89      0.05     -7.95
 (Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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