August 6, 2018 / 4:53 PM / 4 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-U.S.-China trade jitters pressure LatAm currencies, equities

    SAO PAULO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Latin American equities and
currencies fell slightly on Monday as increasing trade tensions
between the United States and China  unnerved traders.
    On Friday, China proposed $60 billion worth of retaliatory
tariffs on U.S. goods, while a senior Chinese diplomat cast
doubt on prospects of talks with Washington to resolve the
conflict.
    That was followed by Chinese state media calling China's
tariffs "rational," and U.S. President Donald Trump saying his
tariff strategy was "working far better than anyone expected."

    In reaction, emerging market currencies and stocks fell 
across the board including Latin America.
    The Brazilian real, the Chilean peso, and
the Argentine peso had all slumped about half a
percent in mid-day trade.
    Equities were also down but only slightly. In Brazil, where
the benchmark Bovespa index was off a modest 0.21
percent, traders took heart in an opinion poll showing centrist
presidential candidate Geraldo Alckmin pulling ahead of
right-wing populist Jair Bolsonaro in Sao Paulo state. 
    Alckmin received a boost after Ana Amelia, a prominent
senator, agreed to be his running mate.
    The decision was well received by the market, said Lika
Takahashi, head strategist at Sao Paulo-based Garin
Investimentos.
    Mexico's peso currency bucked the regional trend on
Monday, strengthening marginally amid optimism over the
renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    
Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1517 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1070.59     -0.26     -7.35
                                                  
 MSCI LatAm                    2739.92     -0.36     -2.77
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa               81266.37     -0.21      6.37
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                   49297.57     -0.01     -0.12
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal             29238.94      0.08     -2.75
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC                12113.66      0.07      6.53
                                                  
 Venezuela IBC               100321.28       0.7   7842.21
                                                  
                                                          
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
                                Latest            
 Brazil real                    3.7236     -0.47    -11.02
                                                  
 Mexico peso                   18.5390      0.10      6.26
                                                  
 Chile peso                      646.5     -0.49     -4.93
                                                  
 Colombia peso                 2899.75     -0.31      2.84
 Peru sol                        3.267      0.00     -0.92
                                                  
 Argentina peso                27.4400     -0.47    -32.22
 (interbank)                                      
                                                  
 Argentina peso                  28.05      0.00    -31.44
 (parallel)                                       
                                                  
 

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery and Patricia Duarte in Sao Paulo;
Additional reporting by Gabriel Burin in Buenos Aires; editing
by Grant McCool)
  
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