April 22, 2019 / 4:02 PM / 3 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Most Latam shares slip, Brazil pension proposal in focus

    By Susan Mathew
    April 22 (Reuters) - Most Latin American stocks dipped in
lackluster trade on Monday, in line with world stocks, while
Brazil's real rose slightly as investors were encouraged that
congress will take up a pension overhaul, while Colombia's peso
rose as surging oil prices supported the crude exporter.
    Returning from Easter extended holidays, stocks in Mexico
 were little changed while Argentina shares
tumbled nearly 4 percent, as Wall Street's lower open tacked on
to a dip in Asia shares earlier in the day.
    Brazil shares fell 0.7 percent, driven by a 2.5
percent decline in mining major Vale on reports that
a state parliamentary committee was considering raising a tax on
miners in response to the burst of a Vale-owned dam earlier this
year which left hundreds dead.
    Brazil's currency rose as the proposed pension
overhaul was to be up for discussion at a congressional
committee on Tuesday, after being delayed by a week. But the
real gave back most early gains to trade just slightly higher as
investors were nervous that possible changes to the plan could
dilute projected savings. 
    Meanwhile, threat of a possible truckers' strike over high
diesel prices loomed after Brazilian state-run oil firm Petroleo
Brasileiro hiked prices last week.
    A similar strike last year paralyzed Brazil's economy for
weeks, led to the departure of the then-CEO at Petrobras and
handicapped the government. President Jair Bolsonaro, who took
over in January, has been sensitive to the truckers' concerns.

    "It's an important issue, there's no expectation that it
will happen, but if it does, it can signal to the market that
there is even more lack of articulation in government than was
previously thought," a trader at a national brokerage firm said.
    Currencies of Mexico and Chile both slipped
more than 0.3 percent against a weaker dollar, while the
Argentine peso lost more than 2 percent with a JP Morgan
risk indicator rising to its highest figure during the
presidency of Mauricio Macri who took office in December 2015.

    Surging oil prices helped net crude exported Colombia's peso
 tick marginally higher.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1531 GMT:
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily %
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1089.04     -0.32
 MSCI LatAm                    2752.83     -0.11
 Brazil Bovespa               94121.30     -0.48
 Mexico IPC                   45505.31     -0.04
 Chile IPSA                    5246.30     -0.29
 Argentina MerVal             30779.98     -3.92
 Colombia IGBC                12853.73       0.4
       Currencies             Latest    Daily %
 Brazil real                    3.9255      0.08
 Mexico peso                   18.8433     -0.44
 Chile peso                      664.4     -0.38
 Colombia peso                 3148.85      0.09
 Peru sol                        3.305     -0.24
 Argentina peso                42.6600     -1.78
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru and Laís Martinsin Sao
Paulo; Editing by David Gregorio)
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