March 8, 2019 / 2:33 PM / 7 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks hop onto global sell-off wagon, FX softer

    By Aaron Saldanha
    March 8 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell on Friday
after disappointing export data from China heightened fears of
slowing global growth, while most Latin American currencies
regained some ground lost earlier in the session against a
dollar weakened by soft U.S. data.
    Data earlier in the global day showed exports from China, a
key destination for Latin American resource exports, fell 20.7
percent in February, year-on-year.
    Commodities such as oil and copper prices
were dented by fears over slowing demand by major consumer
China, singling out Latin America's commodity-correlated
currencies to weaken on the day.    
    However, data showing the U.S. economy created a paltry
20,000 jobs in February gave a lift to hopes the U.S. Federal
Reserve would be more patient about increasing interest rates,
lending some support to Latin American currencies.
    "Boy, 20,000, what a shocker. It is awful," Kristina Hooper,
chief global market strategist at Invesco, adding that the
"anemic jobs report is only going to add to concerns about a
global slowdown." 
    Chilean equities slid 0.6 percent, while the
local peso fell after the price of copper - the
country's top export - dropped for a third straight day.
    
    The currency narrowed its losses to 0.4 percent after the
release of the U.S. data from about 0.6 percent earlier. 
    Colombia's peso also narrowed losses but was trading
0.4 percent weaker, with a 2.6 percent fall in oil prices
 in the background.
    Sao Paulo-traded stocks dropped 0.7 percent, weighed
on by losses across most sectors. The declines were especially
large among resources firms.
    State-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) common
shares fell 1.8 percent. The indebted oil firm's
preferred shares dropped 1.2 percent.
    Mining giant Vale SA traded 1.8 percent lower, on
track for its worst session in close to a month after iron ore
prices dipped after the Chinese data.
    Brazil's real reversed course to trade 0.2 percent
higher after President Jair Bolsonaro said voting on reform to
the country's bloated pension system, much awaited by investors,
cannot take all year.
    Mexico's peso, one of the developing world's top
traded currencies, edged higher.     
    Argentina's peso firmed, in an exception to the trend
across the region. The currency had plumbed a record low on
Thursday, triggering fears of a repeat of 2018, when it shed
about half its value.    
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1413 GMT
   
 Stock indexes                                      daily %
                                        Latest       change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                    1029.32     -1.36
 MSCI LatAm                               2693.79     -0.69
 Brazil Bovespa                          93701.42     -0.68
 Mexico IPC                                     -         -
 Chile IPSA                               5216.21     -0.77
 Argentina MerVal                               -         -
 Colombia IGBC                                  -         -
                                                           
 Currencies                                         daily %
                                                     change
                                           Latest  
 Brazil real                               3.8665      0.45
 Mexico peso                              19.5280      0.11
 Chile peso                                   671     -0.53
 Colombia peso                            3154.49     -0.46
 Peru sol                                       -         -
 Argentina peso (interbank)               41.5000      2.41
                                                   
 

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru, Additional reporting
by Michael Connor in New York
Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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