* Europe activity data, Fed outlook hits risk appetite
* Regional currencies weaken on flight to U.S. dollar
* Rise in US jobless claims reinforces Fed gloom
* Mexico's IPC and Chile's IPSA both down nearly 1 pct
* Brazil markets closed for holiday
By Brad Haynes
SANTIAGO, June 23 Latin American markets slid
early on Thursday after signs of weaker growth in Europe and
China added to a downbeat outlook from the U.S. Federal Reserve
to reinforce concerns of a global slowdown.
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday said the pace of
recovery in the world's largest economy was proceeding more
slowly than expected but offered no new stimulus measures.
Weak U.S. jobless claims data on Thursday backed up the
Fed's pessimistic view. Adding to the malaise was a sharp drop
in oil. For details see [ID:nLDE75M1BR] [O/R].
The Mexican peso MXN= lost 0.9 percent and Chile's
currency weakened 0.5 percent CLP=CL to a one-month low as
the U.S. dollar surged against a basket of global currencies
.DXY on a bid for safe haven assets.
The MSCI Latin American index .MILA00000PUS edged down
0.8 percent in early trade, compared to a 2.1 percent plunge on
global bourses .MIWD00000PUS.
A market holiday in Brazil limited losses in the region,
but Latin America's place on the margin of global woes may also
explain the defensiveness of bourses in Mexico and Chile.
"These countries are definitely better positioned than many
in Europe and in some cases versus the United States as well,"
said Kathryn Rooney Vera, an emerging markets strategist with
Bulltick Capital Markets.
A decade of economic reforms has many thinking Latin
American currencies and assets could now hold up better in the
face of investor panic than they did in the wake of the 2008
U.S. financial crisis. [ID:nN1E75J0GH]
Mexico's IPC stock index .MXX was down 0.8 percent,
dropping for the second time in a week from a strengthening
resistance level around 35,500 points.
Shares of America Movil (AMXL.MX), one of the world's
biggest telecommunications companies, fell 0.8 percent from a
Chile's IPSA index .IPSA shed 0.9 percent, snapping a
four-day bounce and reinforcing a month-long downtrend as its
slow stochastics, an oscillating technical indicator, edged
into overbought territory.
Volatile shares of retailer La Polar LAP.SN showed the
only gains on the index, rising 17 percent after shareholders
approved a $200 million capital increase to help the company
weather a credit scandal that has hammered the stock.
Leading rivals Falabella FAL.SN and Cencosud CEN.SN
lost 1.3 percent and 2.5 percent respectively, showing
lingering unease in retail stocks as authorities investigate
lending practices in the sector. [ID:nN1E75J09R]