May 23, 2019 / 8:12 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, FX slide as U.S-China trade worries ratchet up

 (Updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    May 23 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies
slumped on Thursday, in line with a global downturn in sentiment
on fears that the U.S-China trade war was escalating into a
tech-focused cold war and stemming growth prospects.
    MSCI's index of Latin American shares
slipped 1.2% at 1943 GMT after three straight days of gains,
while its index of regional currencies fell 0.6%
with most currencies declining between 0.1% and 1.25%.
    U.S-China trade tensions flared up with U.S. Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo accusing Chinese telecom giant Huawei
Technologies of lying about its ties to the government and
Beijing saying Washington must end its "wrong actions" if it
wanted trade talks to continue.
    Investors worry about further negative impacts the
protracted war will have on global growth, with soft economic
data from Germany and the euro zone on Thursday being the latest
    The Mexican peso fell for the first time in three
days, down 0.4%, while Brazil's real slipped 0.2%.
Plunging oil prices took the currency of net crude exporter
Colombia down 1.25% to its lowest since February 2016.

    Among shares, Mexico's IPC index slipped 0.3% to a
two-month low, while Colombia's slid 1.6% to touch its
lowest in three months.
    "Equity markets plunge... on the back of worries that the
breakdown in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China will
turn into a long-lasting trade war," analysts at Banorte wrote
in a note.
    Colombian state-run oil company Ecopetrol was on
course to post its biggest daily drop in more than a month with
lower oil prices and sources saying pumping in Bicentenario and
Cano Limon oil pipelines - co-operated by Ecopetrol - has been
halted following bomb attacks in recent days.
    Brazil shares fell 0.6% with energy stocks leading
    Cosmetics firm Natura was the worst performer,
down over 8%, a day after its soared 9.4% on agreeing to buy
rival Avon Products Inc via a share swap, creating the
world's fourth-largest beauty company.
    Natura expects to boost revenue by investing in brand and
digital capabilities, company executives said on Thursday.

    Chile stocks hit their lowest in almost 1-1/2
years, while Argentine shares declined after three days
of gains. 
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1943 GMT:
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily %
 MSCI Emerging Markets          984.72     -1.33
 MSCI LatAm                    2587.53     -1.16
 Brazil Bovespa               93772.16     -0.62
 Mexico IPC                   42827.29     -0.27
 Chile IPSA                    4895.06     -0.52
 Argentina MerVal             34080.91     -1.44
 Colombia IGBC                11977.81     -1.55
       Currencies             Latest    Daily %
 Brazil real                    4.0457     -0.14
 Mexico peso                   19.0620     -0.39
 Chile peso                      696.8      0.01
 Colombia peso                 3375.63     -1.25
 Peru sol                        3.349     -0.24
 Argentina peso                45.0700     -0.42

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrea
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