EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's real sinks after China data disappoints
SAO PAULO, April 13 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real weakened on Monday after trade data from China, the biggest purchaser of the nation's commodity exports, came in far worse than expected. Other Latin American currencies sank as well, while the region's equity markets edged slightly higher. Data on Monday showed China's export sales contracted 15 percent in March, compared with expectations for a 12 percent rise. Any concern about a slowdown in Chinese economic growth tends to weaken currencies in Latin America, which counts on the Asian giant to buy its raw material exports including soybeans, iron ore, petroleum and copper. The price for copper, Chile's main export, edged lower on Monday, weighing down the peso. Meanwhile, Colombia's peso sank for the third straight session. "The (Colombian) peso has gained some traction recently, helped by firmer oil prices," Brown Brothers Harriman analysts led by Marc Chandler wrote on Monday, while cautioning that "the economic outlook remains weak" and that "the central bank will move to a more dovish stance once inflation starts to ease." Stock markets in the region posted gains, with the MSCI Latin American stock index nearly erasing the previous session's loss. Brazil's Bovespa stock index rallied for the third straight day, driven by a more than 7 percent gain in shares of state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras. The shares had fallen to an over-10-year low in January on concern over the impact of a multibillion-dollar corruption scheme currently under investigation. The shares have jumped nearly 50 percent over the past 30 days, however, on a combination of bargain-hunting and recent assertions from President Dilma Rousseff that the company has purged corrupt managers and is moving past the scandal. Key Latin American currencies and stock indexes at 1412 GMT Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging 1043.37 0.85 8.19 Markets MSCI LatAm 2623.34 0.35 -4.16 Brazil Bovespa 54858.27 1.19 9.70 Mexico IPC 45034.51 0.34 4.38 Chile IPSA 4036.39 0.02 4.82 Chile IGPA 19594.54 0.01 3.84 Colombia IGBC 10275.47 0.15 -11.68 Peru IGRA 12895.6 0.06 -12.83 Venezuela IBC 5468.66 0.02 41.72 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.0878 -0.56 -13.94 Mexico peso 15.256 -0.20 -3.36 Chile peso 621.8 -0.33 -2.48 Colombia peso 2532.24 -0.98 -5.70 Peru sol 3.1241 -0.19 -4.64 Argentina peso 8.8475 0.03 -3.36 (interbank) Argentina peso 12.35 0.32 13.36 (parallel) (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Ted Botha)
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