April 9, 2019 / 2:58 PM / 3 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks slide; Brazil's pension reform in focus

    By Agamoni Ghosh
    April 9 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell on Tuesday,
led by declines on Brazil's Bovespa as investors awaited more
clarity on the much- awaited pension reform, while currencies in
the region were mixed against a softer dollar. 
    MSCI's index of Latin American stocks fell
0.7 percent, with broad-based losses across indexes. 
    Sao Paulo-traded stocks fell more than 1 percent,
led by shares of financial companies, which are typically
sensitive to news regarding the pension reform.
    The House Constitution and Justice Committee will meet later
in the day and Deputy Delegate Marcelo Freitas is expected to
present an opinion favorable to the admissibility of the pension
reform.
    "The event will be an important thermometer of support for
the agenda," economists at XP Investimentos said in a note.
    The pension reform is seen as the single most important
economic reform for Brazil and its mounting fiscal deficit. But
delay in its implementation and alteration of the original bill
has wobbled investor sentiment in the recent past.  
    A Reuters poll showed the outlook for Brazil's real
has weakened for the first time since President Jair Bolsonaro
took office, as political tension cast doubts on the pension
reform drive. 
    The International Monetary Fund's cut in its growth
forecasts for Latin America for the next two years amid
uncertainty over the slowdown in global activity also weighed on
sentiment.
    In a contrasting opinion, however, ratings agency Moody's
was bullish on Brazil's reform agenda, which it believes could
potentially boost economic growth and support fiscal
consolidation. 
    Mexico's peso rose 0.3 percent on higher oil prices,
while stocks on the IPA index fell about half a percent. 
    Chile's peso rose marginally, tracking a gain in the
price of copper, the country's top export, while stocks
on the IPSA index slipped 0.4 percent. 
    
  Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1445 GMT
       
 Stock indexes                        daily %
                             Latest    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets       1093.82     0.49
                                      
 MSCI LatAm                  2837.06    -0.42
                                      
 Brazil Bovespa             96450.28    -0.94
                                      
 Mexico IPC                 45206.71    -0.51
                                      
 Chile IPSA                  5255.28    -0.37
                                      
 Argentina MerVal           32841.70    -0.72
                                      
 Colombia IGBC              13218.06    -0.26
                                      
                                             
 Currencies                           daily %
                                       change
                              Latest  
 Brazil real                  3.8561    -0.20
                                      
 Mexico peso                 18.9320     0.15
                                      
 Chile peso                    663.3     0.05
                                      
 Colombia peso               3100.92     0.40
 Peru sol                      3.292    -0.12
                                      
 Argentina peso              43.7900    -0.09
 (interbank)                          
                                      
 

 (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan
Grebler)
  
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