* Mexican peso leads losses * China Q1 GDP data eyed * Recovery in U.S. jobs to be slow -economist By Ambar Warrick April 16 (Reuters) - Most Latin American stocks and currencies slipped on Thursday after a spike in weekly U.S. unemployment claims soured risk appetite, with Mexico's peso leading losses on continued weakness in the oil market. U.S. jobless claims stood at more than 20 million over the past month, pointing to deep economic ructions from the coronavirus outbreak. The figure spurred further exits from regional risk assets. Mexico's peso fell about 0.9% as recent weakness in the oil market added to pressure on the crude-sensitive currency. Oil prices have crashed due to the virus eroding demand. While regional risk assets have reclaimed some lost ground over the past few weeks, increasingly dismal economic indicators point to the outbreak causing further pain through a two-fold supply and demand shock, stemming from the loss of jobs. "Given some people will have found work and the fact there will need to be some working day and seasonal adjustment to the raw figures, we tentatively estimate payrolls will fall by around 15 million with the unemployment rate hitting 14% (in the United States), ING chief international economist James Knightley wrote in a note. "This would mean all the jobs gained since 2009 have been lost in the best part of a month," Knightley said, adding that a recovery would not come quickly. The MSCI's index of Latin American currencies fell 0.2%, while stocks shed 0.9%. The shock to sentiment saw increased safe-haven demand for the U.S. dollar. Brazilian stocks fell 0.7%, while the real dipped 0.4% to the dollar. Bank executives confirmed that Brazil's government was in talks with banks about providing bailouts to sectors such as airlines, automakers, power companies and large retailers to help them survive the coronavirus crisis. Spelling further unrest in Latin America's largest economy, Brazilian health officials braced for President Jair Bolsonaro to fire his health minister over disagreements on how to handle the coronavirus outbreak. Chilean stocks fell 0.9%, while the peso was flat. Minutes of the Chilean central bank's policy meeting showed that bank sees the need to maintain an expansive monetary policy for a "prolonged period," to combat the growing impacts of the coronavirus. Markets were now awaiting first-quarter GDP data from China - one of Latin America's biggest trading partners - to gauge the full impact of virus-related shutdowns on economic activity. The figure is expected to contract sharply. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1411 GMT Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 884.12 -0.45 MSCI LatAm 1623.78 -0.93 Brazil Bovespa 78206.51 -0.79 Mexico IPC 33662.37 -0.57 Chile IPSA 3821.39 -0.86 Argentina MerVal - - Colombia COLCAP 1189.84 -1.18 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.2478 -0.13 Mexico peso 24.2140 -0.99 Chile peso 854.5 -0.15 Colombia peso 3924.92 -0.37 Peru sol 3.4198 -0.35 Argentina peso 65.6700 -0.08 (interbank) (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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