EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico, Colombia pesos tumble to life lows as global markets sink
MEXICO CITY, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The Mexican peso slumped to a record low on Thursday while Colombia's peso also hit its weakest level ever as investors dumped riskier assets around the world. Fears of a global economic slowdown and stress in the banking system hammered global markets and oil prices sank close to 12-year lows. Both Mexico and Colombia are major crude producers, but Mexico depends much less on oil exports as it ships mostly factory-made goods. Colombia's peso shed more than 1.4 percent to close at its lowest ever. The Mexican peso sank as much as 2.6 percent to 19.4480 per dollar, its weakest since a 1993 revaluation, falling even as the central bank sold $400 million in two auctions. The Mexican peso began to pare losses in afternoon trade, bouncing back to trade about 1.6 percent weaker on the day. It has lost around 6 percent since Feb. 4, on track to mark its worst six-day losing streak since late 2011. The Mexican peso has been the one of the biggest victims of the global rout as many investors use the highly liquid currency to hedge against emerging market assets in general. The Mexican currency has shed around 11 percent against the dollar so far this year, making it among the top two worst performers of the world's top 36 most-traded currencies, next to the Argentine peso that has fallen by about the same amount, according to Reuters data. Investors have been unwinding trades that sought to profit from high interest rates in emerging markets due to worries about lower crude prices and concerns weakness in world No. 2 economy China could have lasting effects on the global economy. Bets that financial turmoil will not derail the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to increase rates later this year also weighed on sentiment. Brazil's currency and stocks dropped, also hit by worries that the government could loosen fiscal policy to fight a deepening economic recession despite double-digit inflation. Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1430 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 713.20 -2.38 -8 MSCI LatAm 1658.63 -3.24 -6.32 Brazil Bovespa 39344.69 -2.56 -9.24 Mexico IPC 42086.06 -1.06 -2.07 Chile IPSA 3654.00 -0.59 -0.71 Chile IGPA 17960.29 -0.55 -1.05 Argentina MerVal 10859.12 -4.29 -6.99 Colombia IGBC 8683.47 -0.55 1.59 Venezuela IBC 14594.52 0.08 0.04 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.9945 -0.31 -1.19 Mexico peso 19.2960 -1.87 -10.71 Chile peso 712.55 0.05 -0.40 Colombia peso 3440.55 -1.43 -7.86 Peru sol 3.5143 -0.23 -2.85 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.6300 -0.89 -11.26 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.45 -1.38 -1.25 (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle in Mexico City and Bruno Federowski in Sao Paulo; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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