March 1, 2019 / 9:53 PM / 4 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks post biggest weekly loss of 2019; FX dips

 (Recasts throughout, updates prices, adds market strategist's
quote)
    March 1 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell on Friday,
posting their biggest weekly loss of the year to date, pressured
by lower oil prices and economic worries, while currencies
slipped against a strong dollar.  
    MSCI's index for Latin American stocks fell
over 1.5 percent for the day, as conflicting trade signals
between the United States and China aided by muted earnings for
big companies in the region snapped risk sentiment. 
    Brazil's Bovespa which has been one of the strongest
performing indexes this year, fell over 1 percent in a week
marked by weak economic data and anxiety over the passage of an
overhaul to the pension system.
    Investors worried about reports that President Jair
Bolsonaro make amendments to his proposed changes to the social
security system. 
    "The government is now signaling the possibility to
recalibrate some parameters to make it more palatable for
politicians," wrote Mauricio Oreng, senior Brazil strategist,
Rabobank in a note.
    State-run oil company Petrobras was one of the
biggest losers for the week, down about 1.6 percent tracking
lower oil prices. 
    Traders trimmed positions on the real ahead of market
holidays next week. Brazil markets are shut Monday and Tuesday
for the Carnival holidays, with trade resuming late on Ash
Wednesday.
    Stocks in Mexico registered their biggest weekly loss
since November 2018, with Fresnillo, the world's
biggest silver producer, shedding over 17 percent on a weekly
basis on lower Q4 profit and muted 2019 outlook.
    The peso rose marginally on the day but was set to
end lower for the week amid worries over risk of rating
downgrades to the country and state-run oil firm Pemex.
    Chile's peso fell for a third straight day tracking
the price of copper, the country's top export. Stocks on
the IPSA index slipped over 1 percent.  
    The local stock index has been pressured by lithium producer
Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile, which reported a
disappointing fourth-quarter profit.
    Argentina's stocks fell to a six-week low led be
declines in shares of Banco Macro, while the country's
peso clocked weekly losses for a fifth consecutive week. 
    
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2130 GMT
    
                                          
 Stock indexes                 Latest      Daily
                                            pct
                                           change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          1,051.54      0.06
                                          
 MSCI LatAm                     2,775.81     -1.61
                                          
 Brazil Bovespa                94,603.75     -1.03
 Mexico IPC                    42,620.34     -0.48
 Chile IPSA                     5,274.66     -0.24
 Argentina MerVal              33,834.86     -1.89
                                          
 Colombia IGBC                 12,304.91      0.68
                                                  
 Currencies                       Latest     Daily
                                               pct
                                            change
 Brazil real                      3.7781     -0.64
 Mexico peso                     19.2781      0.02
 Chile peso                        659.4     -0.60
 Colombia peso                  3,094.65     -0.47
 Peru sol                          3.308     -0.30
 Argentina peso (interbank)      39.8100     -1.58
                                          
 
 (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by David
Gregorio)
  
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