December 30, 2019 / 7:53 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks track Wall St lower, but most post gains for 2019

 (Adds yearly milestones, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    Dec 30 (Reuters) - Mirroring moves on Wall Street, many
Latin American stocks fell on Monday, in the last day of trade
for most regional indices this year. 
    Wall Street indices slipped, as did those in Europe, as
investors booked profits as the year drew to a close.
Regionally, MSCI's index of Latin American shares
 fell 0.1% but was set to end the year up around
14%. 
    Markets breathed a sigh of relief earlier this month when
the United States and China agreed an initial trade deal, ending
some uncertainty over a dispute that has dominated market
movements for more than 16 months.
    Emerging market currencies have also taken heart from an
easing cycle by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other major central
banks after a steady rise in U.S. interest rates had pushed some
into crises in 2018.   
    Brazil shares gave up 0.5% on Monday, but overall
gains in 2019 reached 32% - the Bovespa's best year since 2016.
The real currency firmed 0.7% on Monday against a weaker
dollar, capping losses this year to around 3.4%.
    Volatility in Brazil has been high in 2019 as market
participants have closely followed the lengthy passage of a
crucial pension overhaul which the government hopes will shrink
the deficit and restart the economy. 
    Brazil's public-sector finances improved further in
November, central bank figures showed, as the deficit as a share
of the overall economy shrank to its smallest in over a year and
the national debt fell for the third straight month.

    In Mexico on Monday, stocks shed 1.6%, while the peso
 weakened 0.4%, each clocking their biggest one-day loss
in a month. Both are on course to end the year on Tuesday up
close to 4%. 
    In a year that saw Argentine markets crash as an election
indicated a return to more protectionist policies, the peso
 closed down 0.13% against the dollar on Monday,
taking the 2019 total drop to over 37%.
    In usually stable Chile, a year that saw protests against
economic inequality turn violent also unnerved investors.
    The Chilean peso lost 7.4% over 2019, while the stock
market posted its worst year since 2013. 
    Oil exporter Colombia's peso lost 1% this year, while
Bogota-listed stocks gained 25% over the same period
to log their best year since 2010. 
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1930 GMT:
 
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1118.28     -0.03
                                        
 MSCI LatAm                    2926.51     -0.13
                                        
 Brazil Bovespa              115989.86     -0.47
                                        
 Mexico IPC                   43540.20     -1.63
                                        
 Chile IPSA                    4669.85      0.02
                                        
 Argentina MerVal             41438.03    -0.585
                                        
 Colombia COLCAP               1659.02     -0.13
                                        
                                                
       Currencies             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 Brazil real                    4.0160      0.82
                                        
 Mexico peso                   18.9240     -0.49
                                        
 Chile peso                      751.2     -0.53
                                        
 Colombia peso                 3282.76      0.43
 Peru sol                        3.316     -0.07
                                        
 Argentina peso                59.8450     -0.03
 (interbank)                            
                                        
 

 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru;
editing by Nick Macfie and Rosalba O'Brien)
  
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