March 27, 2019 / 9:22 PM / 25 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets sink, reform worries grip Brazil markets

 (Recasts throughout, updates prices)
    * Brazil currency dives almost 3 percent, stocks down 3.6
percent
    * Argentina peso hits fresh all-time low vs dollar
    * Mexican shares buck gloom, rise 0.3 percent

    By Susan Mathew
    March 27 (Reuters) - Latin American shares and currencies
fell to their lowest since first trading day of the year on
Wednesday, with Brazil shares tumbling more than 3 percent,
while currencies weakened against a strong dollar.
    MSCI's index of Latin American shares
slumped 3.8 percent, while its index of regional currencies
 slipped 1.6 percent, both hitting their lowest
since Jan. 2.
    Brazilian shares dove 3.6 percent to eleven-week
lows, with 64 of its 65 components declining. Brazil's currency,
the real, plummeted 2.9 percent to near six-month lows
and finished at 3.99 per dollar.
    The sell-off in Brazilian markets was spurred by a measure
to seize more control over the federal budget receiving
near-unanimous approval by Brazil's lower house of Congress,
adding to concerns that President Jair Bolsonaro is losing
momentum in his push for ambitious economic reforms.

    Bolsonaro rode to presidency on a promise to overhaul the
nation's bloated pension system to shrink public debt, and his
government is now facing slack about its lack of leverage in
debate on the pension reform plan as it makes its way through
Congress.
    "The impression is that Bolsonaro does not correctly define
his priorities and there is no sign that this will change," said
Pedro Menezes, partner at Occam Brasil Gestão de Recursos,
adding that markets will now be convinced only by concrete
actions.
    While most stock markets in the region ended well into the
red, in line with world stocks that fell amid growth slowdown
fears, Mexican shares rose 0.3 percent.
    Among top gainers were local shares of Banco Santander
, which rose nearly 3 percent, tracking a rise in the
bank's Spanish shares, while pharma firm Genomma Lab
 climbed 4.6 percent.
    The Argentine peso slid to all-time lows against the
dollar as concerns about inflation, weak growth and October's
presidential election weighed.
    The currency has lost 14 percent so far this year and the
weakness raises fears of a repeat of the currency crisis of 2018
when the currency lost half its value against the dollar.
    Besides a strong dollar, currencies of net crude exporters
Mexico and Colombia were further hit by a dip in
oil prices. 
        
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2100 GMT:
 
       Stock indexes           Latest      Daily
                                            pct
                                           change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          1,044.10      -0.6
                                          
 MSCI LatAm                     2,648.37     -3.79
 Brazil Bovespa                91,903.40     -3.57
 Mexico IPC                    42,947.55      0.28
 Chile IPSA                     5,174.14     -0.32
 Argentina MerVal              32,174.68     -1.39
 Colombia IGBC                 12,915.28     -1.93
                                                  
         Currencies            Latest      Daily
                                            pct
                                           change
 Brazil real                      3.9933     -2.91
 Mexico peso                     19.3550     -1.30
 Chile peso                        682.7     -0.31
 Colombia peso                   3,173.8     -0.63
 Peru sol                          3.317     -0.33
 Argentina peso (interbank)      43.8700     -2.78
                                          
 

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru and Paula Arend Laier
in Sao Paulo; editing by G Crosse)
  
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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