EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets drop on euro zone, U.S. data
SAO PAULO, May 15 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies and stocks fell across the board on Thursday as weak economic data from the euro zone and the United States sapped investor appetite for riskier assets. Data on Thursday showed the euro zone economy grew much less than expected in the first quarter while U.S. industrial output fell at its fastest rate in more than 1-1/2 years in April. "It's looking like a risk-off moment, with the outlook abroad weighing," said Flavio Serrano, an economist with Espirito Santo Investment Bank in Sao Paulo. "In general, the perception is that the recovery in some of the more developed markets may face some hurdles." The MSCI Latin American stock index posted its biggest one-day loss in a month while Brazil's Bovespa index erased the previous session's gains. Losses were concentrated in widely traded lenders such as Banco Bradesco SA and Itau Unibanco Holding SA. Both tend to attract foreign investors looking for exposure to Brazilian equities. Telecommunications firm Grupo Oi slid 6.5 percent after reporting a 13 percent drop in quarterly profit. Mexico's IPC index fell the most in two months as investors locked in profits following a recent rally. Shares of bottling firm Femsa and lender Grupo Financiero Banorte were both down 2 percent. The region's currencies all weakened as investors sought out safe-haven investments including the U.S. dollar. Brazil's real touched its weakest level in over a week, while Mexico's peso dropped the most in a month. Chile's peso weakened for the second day following a recent rally as investors awaited the central bank's interest rate decision later on Thursday. Weak economic growth and a recent spike in inflation have Chile's central bank in a monetary policy conundrum, though it is widely expected to keep its key interest rate on hold. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1739 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1027.3 -0.48 2.95 MSCI LatAm 3346.85 -1.75 6.42 Brazil Bovespa 53605.13 -1.48 4.07 Mexico IPC 41588 -1.32 -2.67 Chile IPSA 3934.4 -0.75 6.36 Chile IGPA 19244.51 -0.62 5.58 Argentina MerVal 6743.09 -2.28 25.08 Colombia IGBC 13571.52 -1.07 3.83 Peru IGRA 15714.27 -0.28 -0.25 Venezuela IBC 2185.75 0.34 -20.13 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.2250 -0.84 5.92 Mexico peso 12.963 -0.51 0.52 Chile peso 553.3 -0.42 -4.92 Colombia peso 1925.55 -0.29 0.33 Peru sol 2.784 -0.07 0.32 Argentina peso (interbank) 8.0625 -0.31 -19.47 Argentina peso (parallel) 10.83 -0.74 -7.66 (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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