EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks slip as Brazil banking shares fall
BRASILIA, May 5 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks edged lower on Thursday, dragged down by the financial sector, mostly in Brazil, although higher crude prices helped lift currencies and stocks of oil producers. The MSCI Latin American stock index fell about 0.4 percent, with Brazil's Bovespa stock index underperforming other regional benchmarks as shares of major banks such as Bradesco SA and Itau Unibanco Holding SA fell more than 1 percent. Brazilian markets have gone through a volatile week after three months of solid gains as investors await the opposition-controlled Senate's May 11 vote on whether to try President Dilma Rousseff on charges that she broke budget laws. Vice President Michel Temer would automatically become acting president if she is put on trial. Shares in Bradesco fell nearly 2 percent after UBS analysts led by Phillip Finch downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy." Bradesco has gained 45 percent so far this year, reflecting a broad rally in Brazilian markets on hopes Temer would be more investor-friendly than Rousseff. Nonvoting shares in Brazilian state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA rose nearly 1 percent, helping to limit Bovespa's losses. Colombia's Ecopetrol also edged up more than 1 percent ``as a wildfire in Canada and escalating tensions in Libya lifted crude prices. Latam currencies had small gains, with the Chilean peso outperforming peers by strengthening more than 0.5 percent as commodities prices rose. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1559 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 808.91 -0.57 2.44 MSCI LatAm 2174.03 -0.61 19.55 Brazil Bovespa 51836.03 -1.36 19.58 Mexico IPC 45234.59 -0.25 5.25 Chile IPSA 4013.43 0.18 9.05 Chile IGPA 19732.71 0.18 8.71 Argentina MerVal 13369.81 1.13 14.51 Colombia IGBC 9705.44 -0.18 13.55 Venezuela IBC 15380.85 0.23 5.43 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.5282 0.29 11.87 Mexico peso 17.7870 0.07 -3.13 Chile peso 665.9 0.59 6.58 Colombia peso 2952.7 0.00 7.33 Peru sol 3.3179 0.36 2.90 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.2600 -0.11 -8.96 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.6 0.48 -2.26 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Richard Chang)
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