November 13, 2019 / 7:51 PM / 8 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX hits 1-1/2 month low on trade worries; Chile's peso drops 2%

    * Chile's peso continues slide as unrest continues 
    * U.S.-China trade talks hit snag over farm purchases - WSJ
    * Fed chief Powell sees continued U.S. growth

 (Updates prices; changes quote)
    By Medha Singh
    Nov 13 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies slipped for the
eighth straight session on Wednesday as lack of clarity on the
U.S.-China trade deal sapped risk appetite, while Chile's peso
remained at all-time lows as anti-government protests showed no
signs of subsiding.
    MSCI's index of Latin American currencies
hit its lowest level in one and a half months as the dollar held
steady after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell offered an
optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy.
    Brazil's real and Colombia's peso were down
between 0.4% and 0.6%, while Mexico's peso, often
sensitive to trade related news, hit its lowest level in a
    A report that said U.S.-China trade negotiations have "hit a
snag" over farm purchases, added to trade worries sparked by
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday who failed to offer
clarity on when the deal would be signed.
    Banxico, Mexico's central bank, is expected to lower
interest rates on Thursday for the third time this year,
according to a Reuters poll, to prop up a stagnating economy. 
    The Chilean peso fell 2%, to hover at record low
levels as weeks of protests that often turned violent, took a
toll on the currency. The finance minister estimated the near
month-long unrest to have cost the economy $3 billion.

    The country's stocks have tumbled about 15% since
mid-October when the anti-government protests over inequality
and social injustice have swept the nation.
    "We are still watching the peso closely to see if we get a
rebound of any sorts after the sell-off in the couple of last
sessions as we believe the country still has quite strong
economic fundamentals," said Edward Glossop, Latin American
economist at Capital Economics in London. 
    Appetite for Latin America's currencies has ebbed in the
past few weeks as political uncertainty in key markets like
Chile as well as Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia has made investors
    Other stock indices in the region also tumbled, with Sao
Paulo listed shares losing over 1% and those in Bogota
 off 0.8%.
    Bucking the trend, Mexico's IPC index posted a slim
gain with financial stocks leading the pack.
  Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1933 GMT:  
 Stock indexes                                daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1041.78           -1.33
 MSCI LatAm                          2639.81           -1.74
 Brazil Bovespa                    105496.59           -1.18
 Mexico IPC                         43106.55            0.11
 Chile IPSA                          4411.59           -2.92
 Argentina MerVal                   32203.40           -3.67
 Colombia IGBC                      13183.75           -0.86
 Currencies                                   daily % change
 Brazil real                          4.1868           -0.49
 Mexico peso                         19.4385           -0.68
 Chile peso                            796.7           -1.95
 Colombia peso                       3424.75           -0.53
 Peru sol                              3.388           -0.21
 Argentina peso                      59.7200           -0.03

 (Reporting by Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru;
Editing by David Gregorio and Lisa Shumaker)
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