May 10, 2019 / 3:14 PM / 16 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks slide on trade jitters, currencies mixed

    By Agamoni Ghosh
    May 10 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks slid on Friday as
investor sentiment remained fragile over uncertainty related to
the U.S.-China trade deal, while currencies were mixed in the
region. 
    Global equities started the day on a strong note as
investors looked past increased U.S. tariffs on $200 billion
worth of Chinese goods and focused on hopes for a trade deal
between the United States and China.
    U.S. markets however, opened lower after President Donald
Trump said he was in "absolutely no rush" to finalize a trade
agreement with China.
    MSCI's index of Latin American stocks slid
about 0.5% on the trade-related jitters and weakness in Brazil's
Bovespa which came on the back of some disappointing
earnings. 
    Index heavyweight Vale, the world's biggest
producer of iron ore, slid after posting a $1.6 billion loss in
the first quarter as the company reels from a deadly dam
disaster.
    BRF, the world's largest chicken exporter, slid
2.5% after the company said it lost money for the third
consecutive quarter grappling with higher feed costs and trade
restrictions in key markets such as Saudi Arabia.
    Mexican stocks fell about 1% while the peso
snapped a four-day losing streak.
    Investors closely watched developments related to Pemex
after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the state-oil
firm will oversee construction of a new refinery, dismissing
private sector suitors for the project.
    The announcement fueled fresh doubts about the financial
health of the cash-strapped firm which has the largest debt
among all state oil firms in Latin America.   
    Chile's peso was marginally higher a day after its
central bank held benchmark interest rate steady in line with
market expectations.  
    UBS Wealth Management cut its exposure to emerging market
stocks and bonds late on Thursday, changing its portfolio as an
intensification of China-U.S. trade tensions bruised markets.
  
    
 Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1445 GMT
       
 Stock indexes                        daily %    YTD %
                             Latest    change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets       1030.80     0.23      6.5
                                               
 MSCI LatAm                  2626.66    -1.11     3.51
                                               
 Brazil Bovespa             93387.75     -1.5     6.26
                                               
 Mexico IPC                 42740.61    -1.05     2.64
                                               
 Chile IPSA                  5017.08    -0.56    -0.56
                                               
 Argentina MerVal           34433.23     0.92    13.67
                                               
 Colombia IGBC              12554.54    -0.17    12.66
                                               
                                                      
 Currencies                           daily %    YTD %
                                       change   change
                              Latest           
 Brazil real                  3.9679    -0.39   -16.50
                                               
 Mexico peso                 19.1631     0.33     2.80
                                               
 Chile peso                      685     0.07   -10.27
                                               
 Colombia peso               3277.45    -0.09    -9.01
 Peru sol                      3.315    -0.06    -2.35
                                               
 Argentina peso              44.9300     0.82   -58.60
 (interbank)                                   
                                               
 

 (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh
Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
  
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