February 8, 2018 / 3:49 PM / in a year

EMERGING MARKETS-Equities markets fall amid global caution, monetary concerns

    SAO PAULO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Latin American equities fell on
Thursday, as local markets continued to mirror global caution
following a sell-off in North America and Europe, while fears of
more restrictive regional monetary policy also took a toll.
    Mexico's IPC was the region's biggest loser, falling
0.84 percent, while Chile's blue-chip IPSA index and
Colombia's IGBC both fell 0.4 percent. Brazil's Bovespa
 was in the black, climbing 0.36 percent, as traders
consulted by Reuters said markets were behaving conservatively
in the lead-up to the Carnaval holiday.
    "The context of external worries continues, and Carnaval
approaching could bring cover to the market," local brokerage
Lerosa Investimentos wrote in a note to clients.
    Across the region, eyes were also on local central bank
    Mexico's central bank will make a benchmark rate decision on
Thursday, and while January inflation came in lower
than expected earlier in the day, that was largely due to a
statistical adjustment after Mexico raised fuel prices.

    Among the major losers on the IPC was cement maker Cemex
, whose shares tumbled almost 1 percent on Thursday
after the company posted a surprise fourth-quarter loss on
higher-than-expected expenses and taxes.
    In Chile, the government published January inflation figures
 above expectations on Thursday morning, cooling
expectations of greater easing there.
    In Brazil, traders said signals by the nation's central bank
that an easing cycle was coming to a close were largely priced
in, but the government's difficulty in passing a pension reform
seen as key to the nation's fiscal health was continuing to
weigh on markets.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1521 GMT   
 Stock indexes                             daily %
                               Latest       change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1169,02     -0,37
 MSCI LatAm                      3035,87     -0,78
 Brazil Bovespa                 83062,57      0,36
 Mexico IPC                     48564,60     -0,84
 Chile IPSA                      5725,90     -0,43
 Chile IGPA                     28856,41     -0,34
 Argentina MerVal               31737,09      0,35
 Colombia IGBC                  11674,52     -0,44
 Venezuela IBC                   3218,52      4,42
 Currencies                                daily %
 Brazil real                      3,2755      0,01
 Mexico peso                     18,8530     -0,28
 Chile peso                        601,1     -0,37
 Colombia peso                   2856,63     -0,25
 Peru sol                          3,249      0,03
 Argentina peso (interbank)      19,9000     -1,06
 Argentina peso (parallel)         19,84      0,05

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Susan Thomas)
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