February 9, 2018 / 12:47 AM / 17 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm equities fall amid global caution, monetary concerns

    SAO PAULO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Latin American equities fell
sharply on Thursday, as local markets continued to mirror global
caution following a sell-off in North America and Europe, while
fears of more restrictive regional monetary policy also took a
toll.
    Mexico's IPC was the region's biggest loser, falling
2.28 percent, while Brazil's Bovespa fell 1.49 percent.
Chile's blue-chip IPSA index and Colombia's IGBC
both fell more than 1.7 percent. 
    Across the region, eyes were also on local central bank
decisions.
    Mexico's central bank raised interest rates on Thursday to a
nine-year high and said it could act again, if needed, to
contain worries that inflation may not cool as quickly as
forecast.
    Among the major losers on the IPC was cement maker Cemex
, whose shares tumbled more than 4.5 percent on
Thursday after the company posted a surprise fourth-quarter loss
on higher-than-expected expenses and taxes.
    In Chile, the government published January inflation figures
 above expectations on Thursday morning, cooling
expectations of greater easing there.
    In Brazil, traders said signals by the nation's central bank
that an easing cycle was coming to a close were largely priced
in, but the government's difficulty in passing a pension reform
seen as key to the nation's fiscal health was continuing to
weigh on markets.
       
Key Latin American stock indices at 0030 GMT   
  
 Stock indexes                            daily   YTD %
                                              %  change
                              Latest     change  
 MSCI Emerging Markets          1157.89   -0.45     0.4
                                                 
 MSCI LatAm                     2980.40   -2.59    5.38
                                                 
 Brazil Bovespa                81532.53   -1.49    6.72
                                                 
 Mexico IPC                    47862.10   -2.28   -3.02
                                                 
 Chile IPSA                     5651.58   -1.72    1.56
                                                 
 Chile IGPA                    28522.44   -1.49    1.94
                                                 
 Argentina MerVal              31021.59   -1.91    3.18
                                                 
 Colombia IGBC                 11514.37   -1.81    1.26
                                                 
 Venezuela IBC                  3392.51   10.06  168.58
                                                 
 

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Susan Thomas)
  
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