EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks, real sink on policy uncertainty

jueves 13 de noviembre de 2014 16:06 GYT

(Recasts with Brazilian markets closing sharply lower)
    SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Brazil's
currency weakened to 2.6 per dollar for the first time in nearly
six years while the Sao Paulo stock exchange closed in the red
as investors grew nervous about whom President Dilma Rousseff
will pick to head the country's finance ministry.
    Speculation about the successor to Guido Mantega has been
growing over the past few days, with several names being floated
by the press - some of them more market-friendly, others not so
much. Analysts say the profile of the new minister will be a key
indication of whether Rousseff will allow substantial
adjustments in economic policy during her second term.
    Rousseff has repeatedly said she will only unveil her new
economic team after she returns from a G20 meeting in Australia
this weekend, leaving investors jittery.
    "Each day we hear about a different name (on the press),"
said Felipe Pellegrini, a manager at Banco Confidence in Brazil.
"The market doesn't know where to aim at, so investors seek
protection buying dollars."
    The Brazilian real closed 1.16 percent lower at
2.5930 per dollar, its weakest level since April 2005. It slid
to 2.6104 earlier, its weakest intraday level since December,
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index ended 2.14 percent
lower, dragged down by shares of banks and of state-run oil
company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras.
    On the other hand, shares of Lojas Americanas SA 
ended 2.5 percent higher after the retailer announced an
expansion plan despite a third-quarter profit decline.
    Falling commodities prices also weighed on Latin American
currencies in general. Colombia's peso slid more than 1
percent as prices of oil, the country's main export product,
settled 3.85 percent lower in the U.S. market. 
    Overall prices for commodities, which make up the
bulk of Latin American exports, edged lower on Thursday. They
are down about 13 percent since the start of July and are
hovering at their lowest level since June 2012. Most of that has
been driven by excess supply and weaker growth in China, a major
purchaser of products such as soybeans, iron ore and copper. 
    Data on Thursday showed China's economy lost more momentum
in October and is on track to grow at its weakest pace in 24
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1950 GMT:
 Stock indexes           Latest    Daily pct  YTD pct
                                      change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets     991.51      -0.46    -0.66
 MSCI LatAm              2,934.29      -2.43    -6.04
 Brazil Bovespa         51,846.03      -2.14     0.66
 Mexico IPC             43,635.17      -0.25     2.13
 Chile IPSA              3,934.85       0.34     6.37
 Chile IGPA             19,171.29       0.25     5.18
 Argentina MerVal         9,819.8       -2.5    82.15
 Colombia IGBC          12,952.39      -1.45    -0.91
 Peru IGRA              15,439.44      -0.26    -1.99
 Venezuela IBC           2,851.31      -0.31     4.19
 Currencies                Latest  Daily pct  YTD pct
                                      change   change
 Brazil real               2.5930      -1.16    -9.11
 Mexico peso              13.6065      -0.37    -4.24
 Chile peso                 593.9      -0.02   -11.42
 Colombia peso           2,146.73      -1.10   -10.00
 Peru sol                    2.93       0.10    -4.68
 Argentina peso            8.5075       0.03   -23.68
 Argentina peso             13.35       2.85   -25.09
 (Reporting by Asher Levine, Bruno Federowski and Walter
Brandimarte; Editing by Nick Zieminski)