EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks fall on China, N. Korea worries
(Updates prices) By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies fell on Wednesday as investors fretted over economic weakness in China and a nuclear test by North Korea. The People's Bank of China allowed the yuan to fall to a record low, fueling fears that the world's second-biggest economy could be weaker than perceived. Data on Wednesday showed activity in China's services sector expanded at its lowest pace in 17 months in December. "Investors are worried about what is going on in China," Guide Investimentos analysts wrote in a client note. Traders also avoided risky bets after North Korea said it successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen nuclear bomb on Wednesday. The news added to geopolitical risk, reducing demand for high-yielding emerging market assets. Latin America's major stock markets all fell. Mexico's peso hit a new historic low against the U.S. dollar, while Brazil's real closed 0.7 pct down against the dollar. The Colombian peso dropped, tracking a decline in oil prices to a new 11-year low as a row between Saudi Arabia and Iran reduced the chances of coordination to cut output. Latin American stock indexes at 2250 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 759.81 -1.13 -4.32 MSCI LatAm 1750.97 -1.38 -4.31 Brazil Bovespa 41773.142 -1.52 -3.64 99 Mexico IPC 41691.19 -0.83 -2.99 Chile IPSA 3614.97 -0.31 -1.77 Chile IGPA 17866.55 -0.27 -1.57 Argentina MerVal 11423.329 -0.9 -2.16 Colombia IGBC 8352.98 -1.5 -2.27 Venezuela IBC 14591.32 -1.06 278.14 (Additional reporting by Christine Murray; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Cynthia Osterman)
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