December 6, 2018 / 9:36 PM / 10 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks and currencies fall, but trim losses

 (Recasts throughout, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    Dec 6 (Reuters) - A weaker dollar helped limit the decline
in Latin American currencies on Thursday, while shares trimmed
losses as Wall Street ended off session lows amid worries about
slowing global growth, trade, and falling oil prices. 
    Sentiment was hit by the arrest of Chinese tech giant
Huawei's chief financial officer at the request of the United
States as it cast doubts on the prospect of a trade deal between
Beijing and Washington in their 90-day truce period.
    This comes as signs that the U.S. economy may be slowing
spooked investors. U.S. Treasury yields tumbled and traders
scaled back expectations on the number of rate hikes by the
Federal Reserve amid weak economic data and heightened market
volatility.
    "Almost all emerging markets are fearful of continued
troubles from a trade standpoint and they're fearful that the
U.S. markets are signaling a bigger slowdown globally," said
Robert Lutts, president and chief investment officer at Cabot
Wealth Management Inc.
    "The thought process among many investors is that this is
the beginning of the unraveling of the growth phase that we'd
been seeing," he said, adding that sliding oil prices also added
to the day's move lower.  
    The MSCI index of Latin American stocks
fell, but closed nowhere close to losses logged earlier in the
day as they took cues from U.S. stocks, which erased some losses
towards the close of trading.
    The Argentine and Mexican shares turned
positive, while Brazil's main equity index finished 0.2
percent lower, recovering from a more than 2 percent drop in the
session.
    The index was driven lower by shares of oil firm Petrobras
 that slid on lower oil prices. Planemaker Embraer
 fell after a Brazilian federal court granted an
injunction blocking its proposed tie-up with Boeing Co.

    Among Latin American currencies, the Mexican peso
reversed a more than five-month low hit earlier in the session,
and rose 0.8 percent as the dollar dropped.   
    Most other regional currencies lost, albeit off the day's
lows. The Brazilian real lost 0.3 percent and extended
losses for a third straight session, while the Colombian peso
 broke a five-day winning streak and was down nearly 1
percent.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2124 GMT:
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily %    YTD %
                                         change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          978.93     -2.29     -15.5
                                                  
 MSCI LatAm                    2571.67     -1.03     -9.07
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa               88846.48     -0.22     16.29
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                   42007.46      0.27    -14.89
                                                  
 Chile IPSA                    5121.08      -0.4     -0.40
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal             32019.84      0.76      6.50
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC                11849.61     -1.73      4.21
                                                  
                                                          
       Currencies             Latest    Daily %    YTD %
                                         change    change
 Brazil real                    3.8788     -0.15    -14.58
                                                  
 Mexico peso                   20.3420      0.75     -3.16
                                                  
 Chile peso                     674.95     -0.39     -8.93
                                                  
 Colombia peso                 3184.15     -0.89     -6.35
 Peru sol                        3.374      0.09     -4.06
                                                  
 Argentina peso                37.6800     -0.45    -50.64
 (interbank)                                      
                                                  
 

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan
Oatis)
  
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