* U.S. holiday keeps trading volumes thin
* Brazil Bovespa falls 0.5 pct
* Mexico IPC, Chile IPSA flat
By Danielle Assalve
SAO PAULO, Feb 18 Brazilian stocks fell for the
fourth straight session on Monday as doubts about the domestic
economy and the global economic outlook continued to weigh on
Mexico's IPC index and Chile's bourse were
little changed, with trading volume thin across the region due
to the Presidents Day holiday in the United States.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index extended the
previous session's slide after hawkish comments by Brazilian
Finance Minister Guido Mantega on Friday led traders to step up
bets on tighter monetary policy this year.
Then, on Monday, economists trimmed their forecasts for
Brazil's economic growth in 2013 and 2014, a weekly central bank
The Bovespa is down nearly 5.5 percent this year, compared
with a 6.5 percent gain in the S&P 500 index and a 7
percent rise in London's FTSE 100 index.
Mexico's IPC index is up nearly 1 percent for the year,
after rising almost 18 percent in 2012.
"We may see some rebound in the coming days, but you can't
get excited," said Daniel Marques, an analyst at the Agora
Brokerage. "Most companies with a lot of liquidity are looking
very bad in the short term."
The Bovespa lost 0.50 percent to 57,613.90 points. Yet
despite the index's fall, there is no clear evidence so far that
higher rates in Brazil could depress the local equity market,
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in an investor note
Shares of oil firm OGX fell 4.34 percent,
contributing most to the index's losses, while steelmaker Usinas
Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA, known as Usiminas,
dropped 3.35 percent.
Mexico's IPC index was little changed at 44,141.92.
Retail giant Wal-Mart de Mexico lost 1.1
percent, offset by a 1.78 percent rise in shares of bank Banorte
Chile's IPSA index was little changed at 4,597.18
Latin America's key stock indexes at 2129 GMT:
Stock indexes %
MSCI LatAm 3,881.86 -0.07
Brazil Bovespa 57,613.90 -0.5
Mexico IPC 44,141.92 -0.03
Chile IPSA 4,597.18 0.05
Chile IGPA 22,348.52 0.06
Argentina MerVal 3,264.00 -0.95
Colombia IGBC 14,973.92 0.09
Peru IGRA 21,106.48 -0.01
Venezuela IBC 603,049.81 0.91