* Stock markets down with few positive foreign signals
* Weaker China growth, lower oil price weigh on commodities
* Shares in Mexico's Elektra tumble for third straight day
By Peter Murphy
BRASILIA, April 16 Latin American stocks fell on
Monday on worries about Spain's rising borrowing costs, with
Brazil's commodity-heavy index also burdened by falling oil
prices and slowing Chinese growth.
Brazil's Bovespa index was down 0.64 percent while
Mexico's IPC index fell 0.73 percent. Chile's blue-chip
IPSA index lost 0.63 percent.
"It's (Spain) mostly affecting stocks in Europe but it's
passing by the Bovespa too with the perception it will heighten
risk," said José Francisco de Lima Gonçalves, chief economist at
Banco Fator in Sao Paulo who said much of Monday's trading in
Brazil was focused on oil and iron ore giants Petrobras and
Signals from abroad were mixed. Renewed worries about
Spain's fiscal problems and a resurgent euro zone crisis
overshadowed optimism roused by higher-than-expected U.S. retail
sales. The U.S. growth picture was muddied by data showing New
York state's manufacturing slowed sharply in April.
Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petrobras
was down 0.97 percent. The June Brent oil futures price
fell more than $2 on Monday.
The world's largest iron ore miner Vale shed 1.56
percent. China, its biggest customer, announced on Friday that
its economy grew at its slowest in nearly three years in the
first quarter. That could cool demand for China's purchases of
iron ore from Brazil.
Gonçalves said recent statements from Brazil's government in
which it called for banks to reduce spreads, or the margin they
earn between the interest they earn on loans and what they pay
to depositors, was dragging on banks.
Shares in state-controlled Banco do Brasil were
trading 0.73 percent lower on Monday.
In Mexico, retailer Grupo Elektra fell 9.1
percent at one point, its third straight day of sharp drops. The
exchange said last week it would make changes that would cut the
weight of the company's shares in its benchmark index, leading
to a sell-off among investors who seek to match the index's