EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks sink to 2009 low on finance minister shake up
SAO PAULO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell on Friday on worries about global growth and a drop in oil prices, while Brazilian markets were poised for more losses next week after a leftist economist was named finance minister to replace a fiscal conservative. After local market close, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff tapped close aid Nelson Barbosa to replace Finance Minister Joaquim Levy, signaling a potential break with deficit-cutting policies. Earlier, Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index sank nearly 3 percent, breaking past a key support level to close at its lowest level since early 2009, amid rumors of Levy's departure while the real currency also tumbled. Analysts said concerns about policy may continue to weigh. "The market will see this negatively. Barbosa is seen as more lenient, less radical when it comes to fiscal adjustment," said Andre Perfeito, Chief Economist, Gradual Investments. Seeking to contain those fears, Barbosa said late Friday he will maintain the fiscal stability needed to pull Latin America's biggest economy out of recession. Other Latin American stocks fell, tracking U.S. stocks lower as crude prices posted their third straight weekly loss, and stock and index options contracts expired. Mexico's peso weakened, trading past the 17 per dollar level even after the country's central bank hiked interest rates on Thursday, matching the magnitude of the U.S. Federal Reserve's move, in a bid to support the peso. Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2130 GMT: Latin American market prices from Reuters Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change MSCI Emerging Markets 789.71 -1.11 -17.42 MSCI LatAm 1,860.5 -1.74 -31.79 Brazil Bovespa 43,910.59 -2.98 -12.19 841 Mexico IPC 42,936.63 -1.3 -0.48 Chile IPSA 3,626.47 -1 -5.83 Chile IGPA 17,897.21 -0.84 -5.16 Argentina MerVal 11,404.56 -4.47 32.94 Colombia IGBC 8,498.79 -0.09 -26.95 Venezuela IBC 14,403.59 -0.41 273.27 Currencies Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change Brazil real 3.9842 -0.97 -33.30 Mexico peso 17.12 -0.41 -13.88 Chile peso 698.7 1.37 -13.21 Colombia peso 3,328 0.51 -28.25 Peru sol 3.377 0.03 -11.79 Argentina peso (interbank) 13.0500 2.53 -34.48 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.15 1.48 -1.06 (Reporting by Paula Arend Laier and Anthony Boadle. Writing by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Diane Craft)
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