November 21, 2019 / 3:55 PM / 20 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX muted after mixed signals on trade; Brazil stocks gain

    * China says will strive to reach trade agreement
    * Sino-U.S. trade deal could slide into 2020 - report
    * Brazil real, Colombian peso trading flat
    * Mexican peso gains on higher oil prices

    By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Agamoni Ghosh
    Nov 21 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies were little
changed on Thursday as conflicting news on trade and a
diplomatic row between the United States and China kept
investors away from riskier assets, while Brazil stocks were
lifted by upbeat corporate reports.
    The Brazilian real was trading flat, while the
Peruvian Sol and Colombian peso firmed just 0.2%
against a slightly weaker dollar.
    China said on Thursday it would strive to reach a trade
agreement with the United States, in an attempt to allay fears
that negotiations might be unraveling after a report on
Wednesday said the deal could slide into next year.
    U.S. legislation protecting human rights in Hong Kong has
also drawn China's criticism and exacerbated concerns about a
delay in the resolution to the Sino-U.S. tariff dispute that has
dented global growth and dulled business sentiment.
    "EM assets seem to be struggling today on those concerns
about trade and we think they will continue to tread water over
the next couple of months on added concerns of a global
slowdown," said Jason Tuvey, senior economist at Capital
Economics in London.
    Global stocks retreated from 22-month highs scaled in recent
weeks on strengthening hopes of an agreement, which U.S.
President Donald Trump said last month could be signed by
mid-November.
    The Mexican peso was an outlier among its regional
peers, gaining 0.5% and tracking oil prices higher as a report
said OPEC and its allies would likely extend output cuts until
mid-2020.
    Still, currencies in Latin America are on track to post
their first monthly decline in three on unsuccessful oil
auctions in Brazil and prolonged anti-government protests in
Chile.
    The Chilean peso eased again on Thursday after losing
more than 2% this week, staying on course for its fifth weekly
decline in a row. The country's stock index was down
0.3%.
    Shares in Brazil, the biggest economy in Latin
America, rose 0.2% after a market holiday on Wednesday. 
    The stock index was boosted by industry heavyweight
Petrobras, which said late on Tuesday it would sell
its LPG distributor, Liquigas, to Copagaz and National Gas
Butano for 3.7 billion reais (about $880 million).
    Shares in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia
 and Peru were all trending lower.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1530 GMT:
     Stock indexes              Latest     Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1042.61              -0.89
                                          
 MSCI LatAm                      2652.23              -0.36
                                          
 Brazil Bovespa                106098.84               0.22
                                          
 Mexico IPC                     43333.47              -0.62
                                          
 Chile SPIPSA                    4771.75               -0.3
                                          
 Argentina MerVal               33187.74             -0.698
                                          
 Colombia Colcap                 1595.25              -0.33
                                          
                                                           
        Currencies              Latest     Daily % change
 Brazil real                      4.2119              -0.33
                                          
 Mexico peso                     19.4249               0.17
                                          
 Chile peso                       796.91              -0.88
                                          
 Colombia peso                   3442.71              -0.05
 Peru sol                         3.3778               0.12
                                          
 Argentina peso (interbank)      59.7400              -0.02
                                          
 ($1 = 4.1934 reais)

 (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by
Bernadette Baum)
  
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