EMERGING MARKETS-China growth fears keep lid on Latin American markets

Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:10pm EDT

By Walter Brandimarte
    RIO DE JANEIRO, March 12 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks
edged lower on Wednesday on persistent fears that China's
economic slowdown would hurt demand for the region's
commodities, although some mining shares rebounded on a belief
that a recent sell-off was exaggerated.
    Key Latin American currencies also posted light gains,
stabilizing after a string of losses.
    Concerns about plunging metal prices, however, kept
investors cautious. Prices of copper, Chile's main
export product, rebounded late on Wednesday after a sharp
three-day sell-off, but further gains were capped by lingering
uncertainty about China's demand for the metal. 
    "Copper's decline bodes poorly for the global economy,"
Christopher Vecchio, currency analyst at DailyFX, said in a note
to clients. "In context of the significantly weaker than
expected February Chinese trade data, the dive in copper makes
it seem like an economic slowdown is hitting China - and that's
not good for anyone."    
    * The Latin American portion of MSCI's benchmark stock index
 was 0.2 percent lower, after dropping nearly 10
percent so far this year.
    * Brazil's Bovespa stock index edged higher 0.2
percent as shares of mining company Vale SA, which
had dropped to an eight-month low in the previous session, rose
more than 2 percent to 26.70 reais.
    * "A lot of people believe Vale's shares below 26 reais are
worth buying, and those shares have fallen below that level
today," said Luiz Roberto Monteiro, a trader with Renascença
brokerage in São Paulo.
    * Mexico's IPC stock index was little changed,
however, as key Wall Street indexes were in the red. 
    * Brazil's real climbed 0.4 percent after four
sessions of losses. Investors wondered whether state-run oil
company Petrobras will convert into reais at least
part of the $8.5 billion it raised on international capital
markets earlier this week, potentially boosting the Brazilian
currency.
    * Chile's peso rose 0.3 percent after closing on
Tuesday at its lowest level in nearly five years on the back of
falling copper prices.

    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1850 GMT:
    
     Stock indexes                    daily %    YTD %
                       Latest         change     change
 MSCI Emerging         944.91         -1.15      -4.67
 Markets                                         
 MSCI LatAm            2874.67        -0.25      -9.97
                                                 
 Brazil Bovespa        45763.54       0.14       -11.15
                                                 
 Mexico IPC            38722.3        0.08       -9.37
                                                 
 Chile IPSA            3633.68        -0.7       -1.77
                                                 
 Chile IGPA            17996.79       -0.6       -1.26
                                                 
 Argentina MerVal      5707.29        -0.81      5.87
                                                 
 Colombia IGBC         12893.29       -0.23      -1.36
                                                 
 Peru IGRA             15133.03       0.15       -3.94
                                                 
 Venezuela IBC         2650.37        0.3        -3.15
                                                 
                                                 
 Currencies                           daily %    YTD %
                              Latest  change     change
 Brazil real           2.3590         0.32       -0.09
                                                 
 Mexico peso           13.2527        0.24       -1.68
                                                 
 Chile peso            572.2          0.35       -8.06
                                                 
 Colombia peso         2046.17        -0.09      -5.58
                                                 
 Peru sol              2.806          -0.18      -0.46
                                                 
 Argentina peso        7.8750         -0.06      -17.56

 Argentina peso        10.83          0.18       -7.66

<--------------------------------------------------------------
    GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2014:GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2014:-------------------------------------------------------------->
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