EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks retreat on U.S. economic growth
SAO PAULO, April 29 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell their most in over a month on Wednesday following worse-than-expected U.S. economic growth data, while the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy statement weighed on Brazil's currency. The MSCI Latin American stock index fell about 1.75 percent, a day after hitting a three-month high. U.S. gross domestic product expanded at its weakest pace in a year in the first quarter, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday, raising concerns about the strength of the economy and sapping demand for riskier assets such as Latin American securities. Brazil's Bovespa stock index erased Tuesday's gains as shares of iron-ore producer Vale SA sank 7.9 percent. The company will likely report a third straight quarterly loss on Thursday as it struggles with the lowest iron-ore prices in a decade, a Reuters poll showed. Investors in Brazil also kept an eye on the next interest-rate decision due from the central bank after markets close on Wednesday. The bank is widely expected to raise its benchmark rate 50 basis points to 13.25 percent, the highest in six years. Currencies were also swayed by the outlook for interest rates in the United States after the Fed said on Wednesday that slow economic growth during the winter months was due in part to "transitory factors." Investors are watching for signals that slower economic growth in the United States could push back the timeline for an eventual rise in U.S. rates. The Brazilian real weakened about 0.8 percent, while the Chilean peso sank 0.5 percent. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2011 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1057.87 -0.86 11.58 MSCI LatAm 2709.31 -1.76 1.11 Brazil Bovespa 55325.29 -0.87 10.63 Mexico IPC 44942.23 -0.87 4.16 Chile IPSA 4055.14 -0.86 5.30 Chile IGPA 19656.17 -0.76 4.16 Argentina MerVal 12184.56 0.38 46.71 Colombia IGBC 10772.49 -0.42 -45.12 Peru IGRA 13237.66 0.15 -10.52 Venezuela IBC 5726.82 1.9 109.27 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.9597 -0.80 -20.37 Mexico peso 15.199 0.40 -14.27 Chile peso 608 -0.45 -13.47 Colombia peso 2375 1.01 -18.65 Peru sol 3.1201 0.10 -10.48 Argentina peso 8.9000 -0.03 -27.05 (interbank) Argentina peso 12.68 0.39 -21.14 (parallel) (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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