EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies drop on world growth concerns
* Weak economic data in Europe, U.S. spark growth concerns * Investor fret over future of U.S. stimulus for 2nd day * Brazil real drops 0.4 percent, Mexican peso falls 0.1 percent By Natalia Cacioli SAO PAULO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies weakened on Thursday for a second consecutive session after a series of weak economic data in the United States and Europe fueled concern about the global economy, driving investors to the perceived safety of the dollar. The data, which showed deteriorating business conditions in Europe and the United States, as well as a struggling U.S. labor market, came as investors still fretted about a Federal Reserve threat to scale down or withdraw its monetary stimulus program before expected. Concerns about the end of the U.S. stimulus increased after minutes of the Fed's latest monetary policy meeting released on Wednesday showed a number of policymakers were worried about the costs and the efficacy of that program. "The possibility that the Fed might slow down its bond-buying program reduces the expectation of abundant global liquidity," said Reginaldo Galhardo, a currency desk manager at Treviso brokerage in Sao Paulo. "That, in addition to very poor euro zone data, results in risk aversion." Brazil's currency, the real led losses in the region as it dropped 0.4 percent to 1.9721 per U.S. dollar. Investors expect the real to stay in a narrow range between 1.95 and 2.0 per dollar in the short term as a number of Brazilian policymakers, including Finance Minister Guido Mantega, say the government favors a stable currency from now on to avoid additional inflation pressures. The Mexican peso declined 0.1 percent to 12.74 per dollar, while the Chilean peso ended practically unchanged at 473.20 per dollar. Latin American FX prices at 2210 GMT: Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 1.9721 -0.39 3.44 Mexico peso 12.7400 -0.10 0.86 Chile peso 473.2000 -0.04 1.16 Colombia peso 1799.0000 -0.38 -1.83 Peru sol 2.5870 -0.19 -1.39 Argentina peso 5.0275 -0.10 -2.29 Argentina peso 7.8100 0.00 -13.19
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