Jan 15 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark stock index eased off record-high levels in see-saw trade on Tuesday as banking shares slipped but the retail sector notched robust gains, while most Latin American currencies dipped against a strong dollar. Sao Paulo's benchmark index Bovespa, which has hit more than six record highs since the beginning of this year, fell 0.1 percent as banking stocks weighed with Itau Unibanco Holding <SA ITUB4.SA> and Banco Bradesco leading declines. Financial shares declined after U.S. banking firm JP Morgan reported lower-than-expected quarterly profits, blaming a slump in bond trading. The index see-sawed with robust gains from retail stocks led by Via Varejo, offsetting further losses after data showed the country's retail sales for November was the best in 18 years. The U.S. dollar strengthened against the euro after disappointing German growth data underscored fears about a broader slump in Europe. Brazil's real and Chile's peso weakened about 0.1 percent. Mexico's peso was also down slightly in choppy trade, after rising on Monday to its strongest against the dollar in nearly three months. The peso had rebounded from losses suffered after President Manuel Lopez Obrador rocked markets before taking office on Oct. 29, saying he would cancel a partly built $13 million airport.
But the currency came under pressure after several economists and the central bank in Mexico have warned the economy could contract in January due to a slowdown in activity caused by the fuel shortage. The head of Mexico's National Farm Council said major farm and ranching businesses reported losses of at least $290 million as lack of fuel to transport products resulted in delayed shipments and spoiled supplies.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1415 GMT
Stock indexes daily % Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 1003.43 1.08 MSCI LatAm 2840.38 0.24 Brazil Bovespa 94416.85 -0.01 Mexico IPC - - Chile IPSA 5358.37 0.02 Argentina MerVal - - Colombia IGBC - - Currencies daily %
Brazil real 3.6998 -0.04 Mexico peso 18.9816 -0.03 Chile peso 672.9 -0.04 Colombia peso - - Peru sol - - Argentina peso (interbank) - -
(Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by)