February 26, 2018 / 11:19 PM / 19 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico peso down on NAFTA jitters; Chilean equities sink

 (Recasts with peso losses)
    By Sheky Espejo
    MEXICO CITY, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso sank on
Monday, hurt by worries over the future of the country's free
trade deal with the United States, while Chilean equities fell
on losses in a lithium miner and the forestry sector.
    The Mexican peso shed 0.8 percent as renewed
signs of tension between Mexico and U.S. President Donald Trump
over his planned border wall cast a pall over the seventh round
of talks on how to overhaul the NAFTA trade deal.
    James Salazar, an analyst at CI Banco, said nervousness
about the talks was hitting the peso. "It is part of this
uncertain scenario that is caused by this round of the NAFTA
renegotiations," he said. 
    Chile's blue-chip IPSA index led losses among Latin
American stocks, falling 1.3 percent 
    Shares in Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA (SQM)
, which has attracted investor interest due to
increasing demand for lithium from electric car makers, fell
nearly 3 percent after analysts at Morgan Stanley cut their
rating on the stock to "underweight" from "equal weight."

    Shares in Sociedad de Inversiones Oro Blanco SA, an
investment vehicle with an indirect stake in SQM, shed 5.5
    In the Morgan Stanley note, analysts said they expect prices
for lithium to peak in 2018, before falling 45 percent by 2021,
as demand growth falls far short of what is needed to absorb
increasing supply.
    Stocks in Chile's forestry sector also fell. Shares of
forestry firm Empresas CMPC SA and Empresas Copec SA
, which operates in forestry through subsidiary Arauco,
both slid, on what traders said was profit-taking in the sector.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2300 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily  YTD %
                                                  %  chang
                                    Latest    chang      e
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1221.08   0.38   5.41
 MSCI LatAm                          3161.04  -0.03  11.77
 Brazil Bovespa                     87652.64   0.41  14.73
 Mexico IPC                         48463.44  -0.37  -1.81
 Chile IPSA                          5669.86  -1.27   1.89
 Chile IGPA                         28436.54  -1.21   1.63
 Argentina MerVal                   32918.20   0.54   9.49
 Colombia IGBC                      11843.96  -0.47   4.16
 Venezuela IBC                       4912.01   -5.1  288.8
 Currencies                                   daily  YTD %
                                                  %  chang
                                              chang      e
                                      Latest      e  
 Brazil real                          3.2319   0.27   2.52
 Mexico peso                         18.6880  -0.79   5.40
 Chile peso                           587.45   0.66   4.63
 Colombia peso                       2836.16   0.18   5.14
 Peru sol                              3.248   0.06  -0.34
 Argentina peso (interbank)          20.1700  -0.94  -7.78
 Argentina peso (parallel)             20.32  -1.08  -5.36
 (Additional reporting by Felipe Iturrieta in Santiago; Editing
by Leslie Adler)
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