EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies slip on weak U.S. data; real gains
(Updates prices, adds Colombia) BRASILIA, May 4 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies retreated on Wednesday as economic growth worries weighed on global markets for a second day, although the Brazilian real gained as the country's central bank stayed clear of intervening. Mexico's stock index underperformed other bourses in the region, falling 0.7 percent, while Mexico's peso tumbled nearly 1 percent after data from the United States, Mexico's largest trading partner, showed private hiring declined in April to its lowest level in three years. Colombia's peso dropped 1.4 percent following a fall in global oil markets after the United States reported a bigger-than-expected build in crude inventories. Lackluster manufacturing data from across the world, including China, had already weighed on emerging market stocks and currencies this week, after three months of steady gains. The downbeat mood contrasted with findings of a Reuters poll showing most strategists saw emerging currencies holding their ground against the U.S. dollar this year. Analysts raised their forecasts across the board, after two months of strong portfolio inflows into emerging markets. The Brazilian real was the only major currency in Latin America to advance against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday. The real had the best performance among the 35 currencies most traded in the world, according to Thomson Reuters data, edging closer to eight-month highs with a rise of nearly 1 percent. Brazil's Bovespa stock index gained 0.5 percent, after a brief decline at the start of the trading session. In equities markets, non-voting shares in miner Vale SA lost more than 5 percent after Brazilian prosecutors announced a 155 billion-real ($43.5 billion) civil lawsuit for the collapse of a dam last year. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1956 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 810.83 -1.25 3.39 MSCI LatAm 2185.74 -0.12 19.59 Brazil Bovespa 52501.06 0.46 21.11 Mexico IPC 45340.34 -0.67 5.50 Chile IPSA 4006.14 0.12 8.86 Chile IGPA 19696.42 0.12 8.51 Argentina MerVal 13200.42 0.25 13.06 Colombia IGBC 9708.65 -0.56 13.59 Venezuela IBC 15346.05 0.29 5.19 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.5373 0.91 10.38 Mexico peso 17.7990 -0.96 -3.30 Chile peso 671.62 -0.41 5.37 Colombia peso 2954 -1.40 6.79 Peru sol 3.33 0.06 2.46 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.2400 -0.21 -9.69 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.62 0.27 -2.45 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Additional reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Leslie Adler)
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