October 24, 2018 / 4:12 PM / in a month

EMERGING MARKETS-Latin America stocks follow Wall Street lower; strong dlr weighs on FX

    By Aaron Saldanha and Sruthi Shankar
    Oct 24 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks tracked Wall Street
to fall on Wednesday, with Mexican shares hitting a four-month
low during the session, while regional currencies weakened
against a stronger dollar.
    The MSCI index of Latin American currencies
dropped 0.2 percent, while MSCI's index of Latin American stocks
 was 1.4 percent lower, extending Tuesday's 1.3
percent loss.      
    "The weakness in emerging market continues; I think it is
going to get worse, the dollar continues to be strong," said
Mark Grant, chief global strategist at B. Riley FBR.
    Disappointing company earnings, a spat between Italy and the
European Union over Italy's budget, criticism of Saudi Arabia
over the killing of a journalist and, finally, worries that
world economic growth is losing steam have knocked markets this
week. 
    "It's more of a case of global issues, not specifically the
Latam issues," Grant said. "It would make it much more difficult
for Latam countries to do well in this environment."
    Mexican stocks were 0.7 percent lower after hitting
their lowest level since mid-June earlier in the session. 
    The peso also weakened, trading down 0.8 percent,
hurt in part by the uncertainty over funding and costs related
to Mexico City's new airport. 
    Incoming President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who says the
project has been tainted by corruption and will be over budget,
has asked for a public consultation this week to decide if the
government should finish the airport or to complement the
existing hub.
    "The peso is losing due to the strength of the dollar, but
also pressured by the uncertainty of the consultation on the new
airport of Mexico City that the incoming government will carry
out between Thursday and Sunday," said James Salazar, an analyst
with CI Banco.
    Brazil's real was about 0.7 percent weaker while the
Bovespa stock index shed 1.5 percent, with losses
hitting all sectors.
    Colombia's peso led losses among Latin American
currencies, weakening 0.9 percent. It lost as much as 1.2
percent during the session to trade at levels not seen since
November 2016.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 0330 GMT
    
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          954.44     -0.64    -17.08
                                                  
 MSCI LatAm                    2651.37     -1.42      -4.9
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa               83860.95     -1.69      9.76
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                   46174.54     -0.59     -6.44
                                                  
 Chile IPSA                    5147.59      0.65      0.65
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal             28128.41     -0.82     -6.44
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC                12344.07      -0.6      8.56
                                                  
                                                          
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
                                Latest            
 Brazil real                    3.7210     -0.71    -10.96
                                                  
 Mexico peso                   19.4652     -0.86      1.20
                                                  
 Chile peso                      689.2     -0.73    -10.82
                                                  
 Colombia peso                 3148.95     -0.98     -5.30
 Peru sol                        3.339     -0.12     -3.05
                                                  
 Argentina peso                36.5500      0.27    -49.11
 (interbank)                                      
                                                  
 Argentina peso                   36.5      1.37    -47.32
 (parallel)                                       
                                                  
 

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru;
additional reporting by Miguel Gutierrez in Mexico City; editing
by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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