March 13, 2018 / 6:34 PM / in 5 months

EMERGING MARKETS-Latin American equities edge lower after Tillerson exit

    SAO PAULO, March 13 (Reuters) - Latin American equities
posted slight losses on Tuesday, as Brazilian bank stocks slid
on the possibility of another interest rate cut and investors
weighed the fallout from the firing of U.S. Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson.
    Tillerson's ouster was generally shrugged off by markets, as
analysts said traders have grown increasingly immune to
political turmoil under President Donald Trump.
    In Brazil, lenders Itaú Unibanco Holding SA,
Banco Bradesco SA and Banco do Brasil SA
all fell about 1.5 percent, accounting for nearly half the 0.7
percent decline of the benchmark Bovespa stock index.
    Longer-term Brazilian interest rate futures continued to
decline despite stronger-than-expected retail sales
data, weighing on the outlook for bank earnings, according to
traders.
    "Stronger retail sales doesn't change the perception that
the central bank is going to cut the Selic (benchmark interest
rate) in March," said Flavio Serrano, a senior economist at
Banco Haitong.
    Stocks benefitting from lower borrowing costs in Brazil
gained on the interest rate outlook, including a 1.6 percent
rise for toll road operator CCR SA and an
index-leading 2.8 percent gain for homebuilder MRV Engenharia e
Participações SA.
    Elsewhere in Latin America, Mexico's IPC index was
roughly flat in morning trade, while Chile's IPSA ticked
down a modest 0.12 percent.  
    Profit-taking on technology stocks weighed on Wall Street's
main indexes after strong gains so far this year.
    
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1635 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                                daily %  YTD %
                                               change  chang
                                 Latest                    e
 MSCI Emerging Markets             1224.21       0.16    5.5
                                                       
 MSCI LatAm                        3121.48      -0.25  10.65
 Brazil Bovespa                   86332.86      -0.65  13.00
 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC               48667.73      -0.01  -1.39
                                                       
 Chile IPSA                        5646.78      -0.12   1.48
 Chile IGPA                       28228.14      -0.11   0.88
 Argentina MerVal                 33026.42      -0.65   9.85
 Colombia IGBC                    11393.38      -0.68   0.20
                                                            
 Currencies                                   daily %  YTD %
                                               change  chang
                                    Latest                 e
 Brazil real                        3.2553       0.01  -0.19
                                                       
 Mexico peso                       18.5650       0.14  11.74
                                                       
 Chile peso                          601.9       0.27  11.43
 Colombia peso                     2843.63       0.05   5.55
 Peru sol                            3.261      -0.03   4.69
                                                       
 Argentina peso (interbank)        20.1600       0.20  -21.2
                                                           5
 Argentina peso (parallel)           20.63       0.29  -18.4
                                                           7
 

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery, Claudia Violante and Paula Arend
Laier
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
  
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