EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks slip as Brazil banking shares fall
(Updates prices, adds Mexico) 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. Markets in Mexico also slipped after oil prices eased from their highs and the U.S. dollar rose to a one-week high against a basket of currencies as traders closed out profitable bets against the greenback. The MSCI Latin American stock index fell 1.4 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 2.6 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. Latam currencies had small gains, with the Chilean peso outperforming peers by strengthening nearly 0.6 percent after data on Thursday showed economic activity rose in March, beating forecasts. However, oil prices settled off their highs due to a rebounding dollar and a huge U.S. stockpile, dragging down Mexico's peso 0.4 percent to its lowest in nearly a month. Mexico's IPC stock index also fell 0.4 percent. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1951 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 807.51 -0.74 2.44 MSCI LatAm 2158.29 -1.33 19.55 Brazil Bovespa 51718.81 -1.59 19.31 Mexico IPC 45149.47 -0.44 5.05 Chile IPSA 4014.44 0.21 9.08 Chile IGPA 19734.64 0.19 8.72 Argentina MerVal 13282.44 0.47 13.77 Colombia IGBC 9607.56 -1.19 12.40 Venezuela IBC 15367.60 0.14 5.34 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.5393 -0.02 10.33 Mexico peso 17.8645 -0.36 -3.68 Chile peso 667.73 0.58 5.91 Colombia peso 2949.1 0.12 6.95 Peru sol 3.319 0.33 2.78 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.2400 0.04 -9.69 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.53 0.95 -1.82 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione,; Editing by Richard Chang and Diane Craft)
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