EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets fall on China data, commodity prices
SAO PAULO, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Latin American financial markets fell on Monday after disappointing factory data from China weighed on the price of the region's commodity exports. Nearly every currency in the region weakened against the dollar, with the Brazilian real falling as low as 3.46 per dollar, its weakest level in over 12 years. All major stock markets sank, with the broader MSCI Latin American stock index wiping out the previous session's gains. China's factory activity shrank more than initially estimated in July as new orders fell, according to purchasing managers' data released on Monday. China is Brazil's top trade partner and a key market for Latin American commodity exports such as iron-ore, soybeans, copper and petroleum. Prices for most of those commodities fell, with copper sinking to its weakest in six years and crude oil posting its biggest one-day drop in nearly a month. The Colombian peso posted the biggest decline in the region, dropping about 1.4 percent. Petroleum is Colombia's top export and the currency tends to move in tandem with oil prices. The Chilean peso, which is closely linked to copper prices, dropped about 1.2 percent. Traders said part of the decline in the real came after the Brazilian central bank on Monday maintained the pace at which it rolls over expiring swap options, a signal that it will not step up interventions to support the currency. In equities markets, Brazil's Bovespa stock index dropped its most in over a week, dragged down by shares of lender Banco Bradesco SA. The bank on Monday said it agreed to buy HSBC Holdings Plc's Brazilian unit for 17.6 billion reais ($5.2 billion), a price far above what most investors were expecting. Chile's IPSA stock index dropped on a decline in banking shares, while Mexico's IPC stock index eased 0.25 percent lower as mining shares fell. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1703 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 889.26 -1.38 -5.71 MSCI LatAm 2258.72 -2 -15.51 Brazil Bovespa 50154.7659 -1.4 0.29 3 Mexico IPC 44640.75 -0.25 3.47 Chile IPSA 3825.26 -1.16 -0.67 Chile IGPA 18649.67 -0.98 -1.17 Argentina MerVal 10934.819 -1.49 27.46 Colombia IGBC 9913.78 -1.31 -14.79 Venezuela IBC 15609.29 0.89 304.52 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.4504 -0.76 -22.98 Mexico peso 16.128 -0.09 -8.58 Chile peso 679.4 -1.16 -10.74 Colombia peso 2920 -1.40 -18.22 Peru sol 3.1921 -0.07 -6.68 Argentina peso 9.1925 -0.03 -6.99 (interbank) Argentina peso 14.86 0.54 -5.79 (parallel) (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Diane Craft)
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