July 31, 2018 / 3:18 PM / 2 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Quarterly results, police operation hit Brazilian equities

    SAO PAULO, July 31 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark Bovespa
equities index tumbled over 1.5 percent on Tuesday, as poor
quarterly results in the financial services and retail sectors
and a federal police price-fixing probe hit shares of companies
including Ultrapar and Cosan. 
    Among the firms that reported disappointing second quarter
results on Monday evening were Cielo SA, Brazil's
largest credit card processor, Itau Unibanco Holding SA
, the country's top private lender, and RD,
the nation's No. 1 over-the-counter drug retailer.

    All three were down at least 2 percent at one point in
morning trade after missing profit estimates. Cielo was the
Bovespa's biggest loser, falling over 8 percent, its biggest
intraday drop since 2016, after increased competition hit
margins.
    Fuel companies Ultrapar Participacoes SA, Cosan
SA, and Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as well as
recently floated distribution unit Petrobras Distribuidora SA
, also fell sharply after police in the southern state
of Parana said they were investigating a wide-ranging gas price
fixing scheme.
    Those seven firms accounted for over half of the Bovespa's
losses on Tuesday.
    Adding to the sell-off, traders said they were taking
profits, especially in banking stocks, after the Bovespa
climbed over 10 percent so far in July.
    "The rise this month also opened space for realizing some
profits, especially with banks, which rose more than double
digits," said Vitor Suzaki, an analyst at Sao Paulo-based Lerosa
Investimentos.
    Across Latin America, currencies posted moderate losses on
Tuesday in the lead-up to a Federal Reserve interest rate
decision on Wednesday. The Fed is expected to keep rates
unchanged, but solid U.S. economic growth combined with rising
inflation are likely to keep it on track for another two hikes
this year.
    
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1434 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1086.99     -0.29      -5.9
                                                  
 MSCI LatAm                    2698.93     -1.41      -3.2
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa               79016.26     -1.57      3.42
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                   49723.13      0.04      0.75
                                                  
 Chile IPSA                    5418.10      0.66     -2.63
                                                  
 Chile IGPA                   27271.92      0.55     -2.53
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal             29301.43      0.24     -2.54
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC                12195.33      -0.8      7,25
                                                  
 Venezuela IBC                89351.79         0   6973,78
                                                  
                                                          
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
                                Latest            
 Brazil real                    3.7559     -0.71    -11.78
                                                  
 Mexico peso                   18.6435     -0.53      5.66
                                                  
 Chile peso                      639.7     -0.30     -3.92
                                                  
 Colombia peso                  2885.6     -0.54      3.34
 Peru sol                        3.273     -0.09     -1.10
                                                  
 Argentina peso                27.3700     -0.38    -32.04
 (interbank)                                      
                                                  
 Argentina peso                   28.3      0.35    -32.05
 (parallel)                                       
                                                  
 

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery and Paula Arend Laier
Editing by Frances Kerry)
  
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