EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks, currencies slide on weak Chinese exports

Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:20pm EDT

By Walter Brandimarte and Sujata Rao
    RIO DE JANEIRO/LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - Emerging stocks
fell over 1 percent on Monday after poor Chinese export data
re-ignited global concerns of a slowdown in the world's No. 2
economy and pushed Chinese shares to a five-year closing low.
    Prices of iron ore, copper and other metals imported by
China dropped to multi-month lows, weighing on shares of miners
across the globe, as weekend data showed Chinese exports
unexpectedly tumbled in February, driving the country's trade
balance into deficit. 
    The data piled fresh pressure on emerging assets which 
looked shaky after robust U.S. jobs data on Friday boosted
Treasury yields, potentially reducing investors' appetite for
risk assets.
    Chinese mainland shares fell more than 3 percent 
and losses rippled across emerging markets, dragging MSCI's main
emerging equity index off six-week highs hit last
week.
    In Brazil, the benchmark Bovespa stock index slid as
much as 2 percent to an 8-month low, knocked down by shares of
the world's largest iron ore producer, Vale SA, which
tumbled more than 3 percent and was on track for its lowest
close in nearly nine months.
    "Emerging markets had basically two (bits of) negative news
in the last 2-3 days - U.S. non-farm payrolls which increased
the possibility that tapering will intensify, and quite poor
Chinese data," said HSBC strategist Murat Toprak.
    Emerging market currencies also suffered, with the Chilean
peso losing 0.8 percent to its weakest level since May,
2009. Chile's main export product, copper, slid to an 8-month
low after the Chinese data. 
    The Brazilian real bucked the broader emerging market
trend, however, gaining 0.1 percent after the central bank late
on Friday announced it would start rolling over on Monday $10.15
billion worth of currency swaps that mature early next month.
    Brazilian policymakers have been steadily offering swaps to
provide investors with a hedge against a possible depreciation
of the real.
    Traders said the real was also supported by speculation that
Brazil's government-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro
SA could convert into reais at least part of the
dollars it is raising through a six-part bond sale on
international capital markets. The deal has attracted some $12
billion in demand so far, according to Thomson Reuters'
IFR. 
     
    INDIA RALLY HALTED
    The Chinese data also brought down Indian shares from their
third consecutive record high, with metals shares down
1.5-3.0 percent. 
    Mumbai stocks have been rallying ahead of elections that
many investors expect will bring in a more reform-friendly
government. Foreign funds have pumped $1.4 billion into Indian
shares in the past two weeks.
    South Africa's mining-heavy stock index fell more than 1
percent on the day, with Kumba Iron Ore 
tumbling more than 7 percent and heading for its biggest one-day
loss in five months. Kumba's main market is
China.
    Moscow markets were closed for a holiday but the stock
market has suffered three straight weeks of losses, while the
rouble is trading just off record lows to the dollar on tensions
with Ukraine over Russian troops' presence in Crimea.
    Russian forces tightened their grip on Crimea over the
weekend, fanning tensions ahead of a planned Moscow-backed
referendum next Sunday on whether the Black Sea peninsula should
join Russia. 
    Ukrainian markets were also shut.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1548 GMT
    
     Stock indexes                   daily %    YTD %
                        Latest       change     change
 MSCI Emerging         954.7         -1.24      -3.59
 Markets                                        
 MSCI LatAm            2876.22       -1.48      -8.79
                                                
 Brazil Bovespa        45427.05      -1.77      -11.80
                                                
 Mexico IPC            38696.94      -0.56      -9.43
                                                
 Chile IPSA            3654.95       -1.16      -1.20
                                                
 Chile IGPA            18086.51      -0.94      -0.77
                                                
 Argentina MerVal      5817.01       -1.08      7.90
                                                
 Colombia IGBC         12796.39      -0.19      -2.10
                                                
 Peru IGRA             15075.52      -0.36      -4.30
                                                
 Venezuela IBC         2689.33       -1.81      -1.73
                                                
                                                
 Currencies                          daily %    YTD %
                                     change     change
                       Latest                   
 Brazil real           2.3440        0.15       0.55
                                                
 Mexico peso           13.2194       -0.24      -1.43
                                                
 Chile peso            570.4         -0.77      -7.77
                                                
 Colombia peso         2042.54       -0.27      -5.41
                                                
 Peru sol              2.801         0.00       -0.29
                                                
 Argentina peso        7.8650        -0.03      -17.45

 Argentina peso        10.9          1.38       -8.26
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