April 2, 2019 / 9:25 PM / 22 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks' winning streak ends as some investors cash out

 (Rewrites throughout, updates prices, adds market strategist's
quote)
    By Aaron Saldanha
    April 2 (Reuters) - Latin American stock markets fell on
Tuesday as some investors locked in profits, putting an end to a
three-session run which had seen a regional index gain more than
5 percent, while currencies in Latin America softened against a
marginally firmer dollar.
    The weakness came a day after strong regional gains were
clocked on data showing activity at China's factories - key
buyers of Latin American commodities - unexpectedly grew in for
the first time in four months in March.
    MSCI's index of Latin American stocks fell
0.9 percent on Tuesday, while its Latin American currencies
index dipped 0.1 percent.
    Brazilian stocks dropped 0.7 percent, falling for
the first time in four sessions, as most sectors gave up ground.
    "Risk premia across (Brazilian) assets remains relatively
low compared to past episodes of stress, which make us reluctant
to add risk at current levels," wrote Morgan Stanley strategists
in a note.
    Foreign investors have been keenly watching for the progress
of a bill to reform Brazil's bloated pension system, which has
been swept up in finger-pointing between
politicians.
    "In Brazil, the new administration has an ambitious reform
agenda, but the implementation and timing remains unclear,
raising uncertainties to the passage of necessary legislation in
Congress," wrote Fitch Ratings in a special report. 
     Gol Linhas Aereas declined 1.3 percent after its
chief executive said the airline will not cancel orders for
Boeing Co's 737 MAX jet, a report said.
    Limiting the Bovespa's losses, shares of Petroleo Brasileiro
SA (Petrobras) recovered from weakness seen for most of the
session as sources said it received three bids for gas pipeline
network TAG, a day after investors reportedly dropped out of two
bidding groups.
    The state-run oil firm's common shares rose 0.4
percent, while its preferred shares ended up 1
percent to shake off weakness seen earlier in the day which came
after sources said a Petrobras refinery's planned transfer to
Chevron Corp had stalled. 
     Mexican stocks fell 0.8 percent while the peso
 dropped 0.4 percent, giving up a slice of Monday's 1.5
percent jump, which was its best one-day performance since last
July.
    The weakness came despite President Andres Manuel Lopez
Obrador said Latin America's second largest economy would grow
"at least" 2 percent this year, projecting a larger expansion
than a government estimate issued just a day earlier.

    Chile's peso fell 0.7 percent, tracking a drop in the
price of top Chilean export copper,which fell on signs a
blockade of a Peruvian mine may end.    
    Stocks in Chile fell 0.9 percent as weakness
among materials and financials weighed.
    Equities in the same sectors dropped in Argentina, where
stocks ended 1.4 percent lower.
        
  Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2102 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                    Latest          Daily
                                                    pct
                                                 change
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1,071.14       0.1
 MSCI LatAm                          2,759.37     -0.85
 Brazil Bovespa                     95,386.76      -0.7
 Mexico IPC                         43,324.59      -0.8
 Chile IPSA                          5,208.55     -0.92
 Argentina MerVal                   33,006.82     -1.37
 Colombia IGBC                      13,019.35     -0.14
                                                       
 Currencies                            Latest     Daily
                                                    pct
                                                 change
 Brazil real                           3.8525      0.07
 Mexico peso                          19.2272      0.00
 Chile peso                             673.1     -0.21
 Colombia peso                       3,144.05      0.00
 Peru sol                                3.31     -0.09
 Argentina peso (interbank)           42.7300      1.45
                                               
 

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru, Additional reporting
by Jamie McGeever and Marcela Ayres in Brasilia)
  
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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