January 14, 2020 / 7:54 PM / 9 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-China data powers Chilean peso; Latam stocks falter

    * China reports strong iron ore, copper imports
    * Brazilian miner Vale jumps to highest since Nov. 2018
    * Brazil government raises 2020 GDP forecast 
    * Focus turns to signing of U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal   

 (Updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew and Sagarika Jaisinghani
    Jan 14 (Reuters) - Chile's peso broke a three-day losing run
on Tuesday, lifted by strong Chinese copper import data, while
Latin American stocks fell for a second day, with markets now
focused on the signing of an initial U.S.-China trade deal.
    Data from China showed unwrought copper imports in December
rose to their highest level since March 2016, while iron ore
imports last year rose to just below their all-time annual peak.

    The figures helped boost prices of both materials, among the
biggest exports for Latin American economies such as Brazil and
Chile. Shares of Brazil's Vale, the top exporter of
iron ore, rose to their highest level in over a year.
    The Chilean peso firmed as much as 1% against a
steady dollar. 
    "Chile benefits from positive trade data from China, but we
have to see what happens on the political side," said You Na
Park-Heger, EM analyst at Commerzbank, referring to social
unrest in the country that hammered markets in October.
    Brazil's real gained 0.2% after declining for three
days in a row. The country's government on Tuesday raised its
2020 economic growth projection, as well as its forecast of
consumer prices.
    After delivering four rate cuts last year, the central
bank's decision in its upcoming February meeting will be watched
for clues on policy direction this year. 
    Investors around the globe turned their attention to the
signing of the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal expected to take
place on Wednesday, looking for details of the deal as well as
commentary on Phase 2 of trade negotiations.
    Among stocks, a basket of Latin American equities
 shed 0.2%, with all major country indexes
trading well in the red. In contrast, world stocks hovered near
all-time highs.
    Vales's rally failed to lift Brazil shares, with the Bovespa
index down 0.2%, marking its seventh decline in the past
eight sessions. Banks and energy stock were the biggest drags. 
    State oil firm Petrobras said it would
idle a loss-making fertilizer plant in Paraná state.
    Chilean stocks fell 0.7% to log their worst
session in three weeks, while Mexican equities were down
0.8%, breaking a four-day winning streak. 
        
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1935 GMT:
       Stock indexes                Latest    Daily %
                                               change
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1143.00     -0.09
                                              
 MSCI LatAm                          2906.84     -0.16
 Brazil Bovespa                    117083.58     -0.21
 Mexico IPC                         44499.71     -0.78
 Chile IPSA                          4922.18     -0.74
                                              
 Argentina MerVal                   41253.69    -1.818
 Colombia COLCAP                     1647.94     -0.24
                                              
                                                      
          Currencies                Latest    Daily %
                                               change
 Brazil real                          4.1291      0.27
                                              
 Mexico peso                         18.7880      0.03
                                              
 Chile peso                            770.7      0.58
 Colombia peso                        3286.1     -0.59
 Peru sol                              3.321      0.33
                                              
 Argentina peso (interbank)          60.0500     -0.13
                                              
 
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru;
Editing by Leslie Adler)
  
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