January 23, 2020 / 2:52 PM / 2 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks fall; Brazilian real rises for second day

    * Equity markets spooked by spread of China virus
    * Brazil to discuss cooperation with OPEC - energy minister 
    * Colombian peso slips, mirroring lower oil prices

    By Shreyashi Sanyal
    Jan 23 (Reuters) - Stocks across Latin America fell on
Thursday as fears mounted over the spread of a new flu-like
virus in China, while Brazil's real strengthened as the country
looks at the possibility of cooperating with OPEC.
    China locked down two cities at the epicenter of a
coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 people and infected more
than 630.
    Market participants are also especially wary due to the
onset of the Lunar New Year, which will see millions of Chinese
preparing to travel domestically and abroad during the weeklong
holidays, starting Friday. 
    "Risk appetite is back under pressure again today as China's
viral outbreak continues to dominate headlines," Ned Rumpeltin,
European head of FX strategy at TD Securities, wrote in a note. 
    Most stocks in the broader emerging markets lost ground as
investors stepped away from making riskier bets, with MSCI's
index for Latin American stocks down 0.4%. 
    In a bright spot for those betting on Brazil's real,
the currency of the region's biggest economy advanced, appearing
set to rise for the second straight session. 
    Brazil will discuss with Saudi Arabia later this year the
possibility of cooperation with the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC), as it aims to become one of the
world's top five exporters during the next decade, its energy
minister said.
    The Brazilian stock index took a hit, falling nearly
1% as heavyweight iron ore miner Vale weighed.
Shanghai steel futures hit one-month lows.
    Colombia's peso slipped 0.5% against the dollar after
prices of oil, the country's main export, fell more than 1%.

    The Mexican peso also weakened against the dollar on
Thursday. Data showed Mexican consumer price inflation was very
slightly above forecast in the first half of January, but
remained close to the central bank's target rate. 
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1429 GMT:
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1122.60          -0.9529
 MSCI LatAm                    2896.27            -0.41
 Brazil Bovespa              117259.87            -0.96
 Mexico IPC                          -                -
 Chile IPSA                    4659.13            -0.23
 Argentina MerVal             42064.60            0.148
 Colombia COLCAP               1650.36                0
       Currencies             Latest    Daily % change
 Brazil real                    4.1615             0.31
 Mexico peso                   18.7403            -0.32
 Chile peso                      770.5             0.01
 Colombia peso                 3349.94            -0.63
 Peru sol                       3.3158            -0.08
 Argentina peso                60.0600             0.02

 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; editing by
Jonathan Oatis)
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