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Latam markets join global sell-off as yuan slide spooks investors

* Latin American stocks at two-month lows * CLP falls to 3-yr low on lower copper prices * Peru central bank meeting later this week Aug 5 (Reuters) – Latin American assets tumbled on Monday as escalation of U.S.-China trade tensions pushed investors to pile on to safe-heavens like government bonds and gold, while the yuan fell to its lowest levels in over a decade. The MSCI index of Latin American currencies fell over 1%, adding to a 2.3% slide through last week, its worst in 2019, after U.S. President Donald Trump announced a 10% tariff hike on the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese imports. China’s yuan, a key component of the emerging market currency index, fell through the key level of 7 per dollar for the first time in a decade, suggesting Beijing might be willing to tolerate more currency weakness, which may further inflame the trade conflict with Washington. Currencies in the region followed their emerging market counterparts with Colombia’s peso falling the most, down 2.2%. The real and Mexico’s peso slid 1.5% each. Chile’s peso which tracks copper prices fell to an over three-year low as the yuan’s slide made it expensive for the world’s biggest copper consumer, China to buy dollar-denominated metals. Sao Paulo-traded stocks fell nearly 2% tracking a larger global sell-off in equities, while shares on Mexico’s IPC index lost 1%. The Peruvian sol was the only currency in the region that gained against the dollar ahead of an interest rate decision later this week. The country’s central bank said last month it was looking at the possibility of cutting or maintaining the benchmark interest rate depending on macroeconomic data it receives. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1400 GMT Stock indexes daily % Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 974.51 -2.91 MSCI LatAm 2680.41 -2.94 Brazil Bovespa 100899.01 -1.73 Mexico IPC 39531.52 -1.12 Chile IPSA 4818.01 -1.38 Argentina MerVal – – Colombia IGBC 12446.41 -0.86 Currencies daily % Latest change Brazil real 3.9408 -1.27 Mexico peso 19.5962 -1.52 Chile peso 723.6 -1.53 Colombia peso 3458.49 -2.20 Peru sol 3.355 0.10 Argentina peso (interbank) 45.3800 -1.56 (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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