* Brazil Bovespa down 1.1 pct
* Mexico IPC falls 1.33 pct
By Asher Levine
SAO PAULO, Jan 24 Global emerging market stocks
plunged on Friday as a worldwide currency selloff, worries over
slower growth in China and a roll-back of U.S. monetary stimulus
took Latin American stocks to a 4-1/2-year low.
The MSCI global emerging equities index fell for
the second consecutive day, losing 1.46 percent to close at its
lowest level in more than four months.
Key emerging market currencies have been battered recently
with the Turkish lira plunging to record lows
against the dollar, the Argentine peso suffering its
largest one-day decline in more than a decade and the South
African rand falling to a five-year low.
The MSCI Latin American stock index fell
2.14 percent to 2,916.73, its lowest level since July 2009.
In Latin America, Brazil's real slid to a five-month
trough, thanks in part to currency woes in neighboring
Argentina, whose rapid currency devaluation points to weaker
trade with Brazil.
The emerging-market selloff, which also led to a big day of
losses in U.S. equity markets, hurt Latin American stocks.
Emerging markets stocks and currencies, and to a lesser
extent bonds, have been pummeled in recent sessions as investors
fret over issues including slower growth in China and a decline
in U.S. monetary stimulus.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index dropped 1.1
percent to 47,787.38, a level it has not closed below since last
"The swing is a reflection of fear over investing in Brazil
and the exit of capital, with investors leaving the country,"
said Fausto Gouveia, an economist with Brazil's Legan Asset.
Shares of state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA
, known as Petrobras, fell 2.39 percent, while Itaú
Unibanco Holding SA, Brazil's largest non-government
bank, dropped 1.32 percent.
Brazil's Bovespa lost nearly 16 percent last year, compared
with a 2.23 percent loss in Mexico's IPC index and a 29.6
percent gain in the S&P 500 over the same period.
Most investors have blamed the fall on broad concerns over
economic fundamentals, erratic policy implementation and
heavy-handed government meddling in the private sector.
Mexico's IPC index fell 1.33 percent to its lowest level
Shares of lender Grupo Financiero Banorte fell
1.35 percent, while bottling firm Femsa lost 1.7
Chile's IPSA index posted its biggest one-day drop
since last August, falling 2.05 percent to 3,597.98 as only four
out of 40 stocks in the index hung onto gains.
Shares of retailer Falabella slid 2.43 percent,
while rival Cencosud fell 5.85 percent.