March 2, 2018 / 5:48 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks fall as tariff talk spurs profit-taking

    SAO PAULO, March 2 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark Bovespa
index led losses across Latin America on Friday after U.S.
President Donald Trump's plan to tack tariffs onto steel and
aluminum imports sparked a round of profit-taking.
    Among the biggest losers on the Bovespa was major
miner Vale SA, which mines key steel-making
ingredient iron ore. Its shares had fallen 3 percent in
afternoon trade, accounting for 30 percent of the Bovespa's
    Brazilian steelmakers Gerdau SA, Companhia
Siderurgica Nacional SA, and Usinas Siderurgicas de
Minas Gerais SA had all posted their biggest intraday
drops in weeks.
    "Everyone wanted to take profits, and there wasn't a reason.
So the market took advantage of Trump's talk to do it," said Ari
Santos, manager at the Bovespa desk at brokerage Hencorp
    Brazil's Bovespa was trading off 0.85 percent at midday.
    Elsewhere in Latin America, markets were also down on
Trump's proposal to put a 25 percent tariff on imported steel
and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, with companies exposed to
the steel market consistently the biggest decliners.

    In Chile, where the benchmark IPSA index fell 0.34
percent, iron and steel maker Cap SA was down 3.2
percent, after falling 5.6 percent on Thursday.
    Latin American currencies were generally mixed on the news.
While the Mexican peso felt some upward pressure toward its
100-day moving average according to Banco BASE, it was held back
by Trump's trade talk.
    A statement by a key Canadian union leader in the late
morning that the Canadian team renegotiating the North American
Free Trade Agreement was "completely frustrated" also put
pressure on the peso.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1711 GMT:
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1180,60     -0,98      2,92
 MSCI LatAm                    3043,91     -0,61      8,29
 Brazil Bovespa               84653,99     -0,85     10,80
 Mexico IPC                   47471,47     -0,27     -3,82
 Chile IPSA                    5511,28      -0,3     -0,96
 Chile IGPA                   27673,57     -0,48     -1,10
 Argentina MerVal             31689,21     -1,01      5,40
 Colombia IGBC                11312,92     -0,08     -0,51
 Venezuela IBC                 4161,85     -0,84    -86,87
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
 Brazil real                    3,2536      0,02      1,83
 Mexico peso                   18,8585     -0,09      4,46
 Chile peso                      598,7     -0,48      2,66
 Colombia peso                    2867      0,52      4,01
 Peru sol                        3,254      0,22     -0,52
 Argentina peso                20,2400     -0,40     -8,10
 Argentina peso                  20,27      0,05     -5,13

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery and Gabriela Mello
Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
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