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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX hits 1-1/2 month low on trade worries; Chile's peso drops 2%

Medha Singh

drops 2%@

* Chile's peso continues slide as unrest continues

* U.S.-China trade talks hit snag over farm purchases - WSJ

* Fed chief Powell sees continued U.S. growth

(Updates prices; changes quote) Nov 13 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies slipped for the eighth straight session on Wednesday as lack of clarity on the U.S.-China trade deal sapped risk appetite, while Chile's peso remained at all-time lows as anti-government protests showed no signs of subsiding. MSCI's index of Latin American currencies hit its lowest level in one and a half months as the dollar held steady after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell offered an optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy. Brazil's real and Colombia's peso were down between 0.4% and 0.6%, while Mexico's peso, often sensitive to trade related news, hit its lowest level in a month. A report that said U.S.-China trade negotiations have "hit a snag" over farm purchases, added to trade worries sparked by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday who failed to offer clarity on when the deal would be signed. Banxico, Mexico's central bank, is expected to lower interest rates on Thursday for the third time this year, according to a Reuters poll, to prop up a stagnating economy.

The Chilean peso fell 2%, to hover at record low levels as weeks of protests that often turned violent, took a toll on the currency. The finance minister estimated the near month-long unrest to have cost the economy $3 billion.

The country's stocks have tumbled about 15% since mid-October when the anti-government protests over inequality and social injustice have swept the nation. "We are still watching the peso closely to see if we get a rebound of any sorts after the sell-off in the couple of last sessions as we believe the country still has quite strong economic fundamentals," said Edward Glossop, Latin American economist at Capital Economics in London. Appetite for Latin America's currencies has ebbed in the past few weeks as political uncertainty in key markets like Chile as well as Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia has made investors nervous. Other stock indices in the region also tumbled, with Sao Paulo listed shares losing over 1% and those in Bogota off 0.8%. Bucking the trend, Mexico's IPC index posted a slim gain with financial stocks leading the pack.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1933 GMT:

Stock indexes daily % change

Latest

MSCI Emerging Markets 1041.78 -1.33MSCI LatAm 2639.81 -1.74Brazil Bovespa 105496.59 -1.18Mexico IPC 43106.55 0.11Chile IPSA 4411.59 -2.92Argentina MerVal 32203.40 -3.67Colombia IGBC 13183.75 -0.86Currencies daily % change

Latest

Brazil real 4.1868 -0.49Mexico peso 19.4385 -0.68Chile peso 796.7 -1.95Colombia peso 3424.75 -0.53Peru sol 3.388 -0.21Argentina peso 59.7200 -0.03

(interbank)

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio and Lisa Shumaker)