November 19, 2018 / 9:46 PM / 6 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, currencies hit by global sell-off

 (Recasts, updates prices, adds quote)
    By Aaron Saldanha
    Nov 19 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies fell
on Monday as concerns about global trade in light of U.S.-China
trade tensions prompted investors to cut exposure to riskier
emerging market assets.
    The United States kept up its tough rhetoric against China
over the weekend. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said there
would be no end to tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods
until China changed its ways.
    "Today's just one of those classic moves - equities lower,
beta currencies lower, safe havens higher - it really is a
textbook risk-off mood," said Christian Lawrence, a senior
market strategist with Rabobank.
    MSCI's index of Latin American stocks fell
0.6 percent to give back some of the 3.2 percent it gained on
    The MSCI index of currencies in the region
fell marginally, failing to take advantage of a soft dollar
which weakened under pressure following cautious comments about
the U.S. economy from U.S. Federal Reserve officials.
    Brazil's real weakened 0.4 percent and the Bovespa
stocks index fell 0.7 percent with most sectors clocking
    Payment processor Cielo was the benchmark's worst
performer, down 5 percent, after HSBC and Credit Suisse cut
their price targets on the stock. Credit Suisse also downgraded
it on weak profit expectations for 2019.
    Shares of state-controlled oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro
 (Petrobras) rose 0.8 percent. Incoming Chief
Executive Roberto Castello Branco in an interview signaled his
intention to cut costs, do away with some of the firm's
downstream operations and focus on its core
    He added fuel distribution unit BR Distribuidora
was not a natural fit for Petrobras and does not generate
returns, sending its shares up 5.9 percent as investors bet the
government may sell it.
    Mexico's peso, considered by many to be a weather
vane of trade sentiment, slid 1 percent to snap a three session
winning run.
    Financial markets in Argentina and stock markets in Mexico
were closed for holidays.
    Chile's peso firmed slightly, supported by higher
prices of copper, the country's main shipment. During
the day, the currency touched its strongest level in about a
month and a half.
    Chilean stocks slid half a percent while their
Colombian peers fell 1 percent.   
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2121 GMT
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          988.31       0.2    -14.69
 MSCI LatAm                    2650.61      -0.6     -6.28
 Brazil Bovespa               87900.83     -0.69     15.05
 Chile IPSA                    5164.27     -0.51     -0.51
 Colombia IGBC                12233.81     -0.97      7.59
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
 Brazil real                    3.7560      0.16    -11.79
 Mexico peso                   20.3505     -1.03     -3.20
 Chile peso                      668.2      0.36     -8.01
 Colombia peso                  3173.7     -0.24     -6.04
 Peru sol                        3.376     -0.06     -4.12

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; editing by Grant
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