MEXICO CITY, March 7 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell on Friday, with Brazil’s Bovespa index dropping nearly 2 percent as doubts over future Chinese demand for the country’s metals hit mining and steel producers.
China recorded its first domestic bond default as expected on Friday, bringing copper to a seven-month low on growth fears in the world’s second-largest economy.
The default led to a rout of Brazilian steel producers and miners. Iron ore miner Vale lost 3.63 percent, while steel producer Usiminas fell 5.61 percent. Fellow steelmaker Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional SA dropped 5.08 percent.
Markets had begun the day in stronger form, after data showed the United States created more jobs in February than forecast, easing fears of a slowdown in the world’s largest economy.
While the stronger-than-expected number was a relief to investors, who feared a U.S. economic slowdown would weigh on global growth prospects, it also reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue to wind down the monetary stimulus that for years has supported appetite for risk in emerging markets.
Latin American currencies are sensitive to potential dollar outflows induced by the Fed’s tapering. The Mexican peso ended the day 0.27 percent weaker at 13.188 pesos per dollar, while Brazil’s real lost 1.2 percent.
Mexico’s IPC stock index closed down 0.67 percent. Shares in Televisa, which announced it had been declared dominant by the telecoms regulator and would be forced to share infrastructure, fell 2.33 percent, while Grupo Mexico a major copper producer lost 3.38 percent.