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Latin American stocks fall as slowdown deepens

Latin American stocks fall as slowdown deepens

Latin American stocks fell for a fifth day Thursday as grim economic and company news battered markets worldwide, suggesting a deepening recession could linger longer than expected.
Brazil's benchmark Ibovespa index dropped 2.6 percent to 37,010 as investors dumped shares in many of the commodity-heavy index's exporters, which have been hit by sagging global demand. Brazil's currency fell to 2.37 to the U.S. dollar, its weakest level since Dec. 24.
Mexico's IPC index declined 2.7 percent to 19,816 in late-morning trading, while the peso slipped to 14.2 to the U.S. dollar amid sagging demand for Mexican goods in the recession-wracked U.S., which buys 80 percent of its exports. Retail sales dropped 2.7 percent in the U.S. last month, more than twice the decline economists had expected.
Mexico's central bank is expected to cut its benchmark lending rate on Friday, as 6.5 percent annual inflation starts to slow with the country's cooling economy. The bank's president has suggested that economic growth could be negative in 2009.
Argentina's Merval index meanwhile declined 1.7 percent to 1,069, while Chile's IPSA fell 0.2 percent to 2,446 and Peru's IGBVL slid 0.4 percent to 6,900.
World stock markets have tumbled this week as hopes dim for an economic turnaround later this year. Worsening economic data and financial news are boosting concern that huge losses could continue mounting at banks, forcing them to raise billions more in capital even as the global economy deteriorates.
Citigroup Inc. this week confirmed it would merge its Smith Barney brokerage into a joint venture with Morgan Stanley, trading control for $2.7 billion in cash, while reports suggested the U.S. government could soon grant billions of dollars in additional aid to Bank of America Corp., which acquired debt-ridden Merrill Lynch & Co. on Jan. 1.
The world economic crisis has pummeled Latin American stocks, slashing demand for the commodity exports _ including oil, iron ore, copper and soy _ on which many of the region's biggest companies rely. Latin American currencies also have been hammered as foreign investors dump local assets to cover losses at home.


Updated : 2021-05-15 17:43 GMT+08:00