Latam stocks down; Brazil real weakens after minister switch
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks were mostly weaker on Monday as oil prices hit new lows and after Brazil's appointment of a leftist economist as finance minister raised concerns about the path that would be charted for the economy. The decline came even as Chinese stocks rose and China pledged additional policy support, which could rekindle the appetite for high-yielding assets and boost commodity prices. The Chilean peso advanced to close to its highest level in more than a month after a rally in copper prices, though the country's stock index fell. The Colombian peso retreated slightly as oil prices fell to their lowest level in more than 11 years on fears of oversupply. The peso fell even though Colombia increased its benchmark rates on Friday, which some investors believed should have come sooner. The only stock index in the region that gained was Mexico's IPC index, boosted by a rise in shares in telecommunications giant America Movil after it spun off its cell towers into a new company. The Brazilian real and stock index both fell after President Dilma Rousseff named Nelson Barbosa as finance minister, to replace fiscally conservative Joaquim Levy. Traders saw the appointment as a step back from the fiscal rigor pursued for most of this year. Latin American stock indexes at 0110 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 791.35 -0.01 -17.24 MSCI LatAm 1820.39 -2.16 -33.26 Brazil Bovespa 43199.953 -1.62 -13.61 92 Mexico IPC 43160.61 0.52 0.03 Chile IPSA 3600.88 -0.71 -6.49 Chile IGPA 17782.74 -0.64 -5.76 Argentina MerVal 11112.85 -2.55 29.54 Colombia IGBC 8408.12 -1.07 -27.73 Venezuela IBC 14325.48 -0.54 271.25 (Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Leslie Adler)
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