EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets slide on Chinese factory data
RIO DE JANEIRO, April 23 (Reuters) - Latin American markets fell on Wednesday as concerns over Chinese factory growth dragged on mining stocks and the currencies of countries that rely on commodity exports to China. MSCI's benchmark stock index for Latin America dropped 0.4 percent in a second session of losses after data showed China's factory activity shrank for the fourth straight month in April. "The Chinese data left investors more defensive toward emerging markets, especially those that rely on commodities (exports)," said Luciano Rostagno, chief strategist with Mizuho bank in Sao Paulo. Shares of Brazil's Vale SA, the world's largest iron ore producer, dropped 0.6 percent and weighed heavily on the country's benchmark Bovespa index, which edged down 0.4 percent. Shares of homebuilders Gafisa and Even also pulled the Bovespa lower. They dropped 3.2 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, following the release of their operational performances late on Tuesday. In foreign exchange markets, most Latin American currencies weakened as investors remained cautious about the impact of the Chinese economic slowdown in the region. Continued dollar inflows from investors seeking Brazil's high interest rates cushioned the real's losses. The Brazilian currency last traded at 2.2425 per dollar, only 0.1 percent weaker on the day. Analysts said the Brazilian central bank is likely to keep the current pace of forex intervention since the real quickly lost value after reaching a five-month high of 2.18 per dollar on April 9. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1455 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1004.04 -0.46 0.6 MSCI LatAm 3241.27 -0.4 1.67 Brazil Bovespa 51775.91 -0.39 0.52 Mexico IPC 40343.97 -0.31 -5.58 Chile IPSA 3879.85 0.03 4.88 Chile IGPA 19064.55 0.08 4.59 Argentina MerVal 6656.82 0.71 23.48 Colombia IGBC 13544.29 -0.78 3.62 Peru IGRA 14844.45 0.29 -5.77 Venezuela IBC 2456.51 0 -10.23 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.2425 -0.08 5.10 Mexico peso 13.08 -0.17 -0.38 Chile peso 564 -0.34 -6.72 Colombia peso 1936.54 -0.16 -0.23 Peru sol 2.792 -0.32 0.04 Argentina peso 8.0000 0.03 -18.84 (interbank) Argentina peso 10.37 0.29 -3.57 (parallel) (Reporting by Walter Brandimarte, Priscila Jordao and Bruno Federowski; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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