EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks drop on China concerns, real regains ground
SAO PAULO, April 28 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark stock index fell on Monday on concerns over weaker economic growth in China, while Brazil's currency strengthened as investors took advantage of its sharp drop against the dollar on Friday. The broader MSCI Latin American stock index fell about 0.5 percent, while the region's currencies were mixed. Chinese state media over the weekend reported President Xi Jinping as saying current fiscal and monetary policies would remain essentially unchanged, dashing investor hopes for additional short-term government stimulus in China, Brazil's top trading partner. Brazil's Bovespa stock index fell for the fourth session in five, though it held on to a nearly 1.5 percent gain for the month. Shares of mining company Vale SA, which counts China as its biggest customer, sank to their lowest intraday level in a month as iron ore prices .IO62-CNI=SI posted their biggest one-day decline in a week. Mexico's IPC stock index fell 0.35 percent as a 2 percent drop in cement maker Cemex offset a 1.5 percent gain in conglomerate Alfa. Chilean shares fell for a seventh straight session, weighed down by a 1.6 percent decline in shares of conglomerate Copec . In currency markets, Brazil's real staged a partial rebound from Friday's 1.3 percent drop against the dollar. The fall was sparked by the central bank unexpectedly declining to hold an auction to roll over currency swaps that mature at the beginning of May. The contracts support the real, which has gained about 5.7 percent against the dollar this year, by providing investors with protection against a drop in the currency. "The expiry of these contracts suggests that authorities had enough appreciation for now," Brown Brothers Harriman analysts led by Marc Chandler wrote in an investor note Monday. "This is very much in line with our long-held view that, bar a huge external shock, USD/BRL will stay roughly within the 2.20-2.40 range at least until (Brazil's) presidential elections later in the year." The Chilean peso pared early gains in afternoon trading as the price of copper,, the country's main export, sank. Colombia's peso rebounded after a four-session decline, while Mexico's peso traded slightly weaker. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1735 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 992.59 -0.08 -0.93 MSCI LatAm 3212.14 -0.51 0.87 Brazil Bovespa 51090.07 -0.6 -0.81 Mexico IPC 40052.97 -0.36 -6.26 Chile IPSA 3815.61 -0.21 3.15 Chile IGPA 18799.54 -0.22 3.14 Argentina MerVal 6653.56 1.46 23.42 Colombia IGBC 13395.01 -0.11 2.48 Peru IGRA 15098.81 -0.01 -4.16 Venezuela IBC 2348.13 -0.4 -14.19 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.2353 0.25 5.44 Mexico peso 13.1504 -0.12 -0.92 Chile peso 560.8 -0.11 -6.19 Colombia peso 1936.57 0.28 -0.24 Peru sol 2.808 -0.21 -0.53 Argentina peso (interbank) 8.0000 0.03 -18.84 Argentina peso (parallel) 10.66 0.75 -6.19 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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