EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks slip, weighed by Brazilian banks

* Brazil imposes forex reserve requirement on banks

* Markets await key U.S. jobs data on Friday

* Brazil’s Bovespa down 0.16 pct, Mexico’s IPC 0.19 pct

By Luciana Lopez

SAO PAULO, Jan 6 (BestGrowthStock) – Latin American stocks slid in
early trading on Thursday as Brazil slapped a reserve
requirement on banks’ short U.S. dollar positions in hopes of
containing gains in the local currency.

The MSCI Latin American stocks index (.MILA00000PUS: )
dropped 0.76 percent, reversing gains in the previous session.

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index (.BVSP: ) lost 0.16
percent, weighed down by a drop in banking shares.

“The central bank measure brought uncertainty to banks,”
said Rodrigo Mello, a partner at Oren Investimentos in Rio de
Janeiro. “People are taking some profits on banking shares.”

Investors were also awaiting key U.S. jobs data due on
Friday after an uptick in weekly jobless claims in the world’s
largest economy came in near expectations, Mello said.
[ID:nN06111595]

The Brazilian requirement will mostly affect larger banks,
analysts said, because those banks are likelier to have U.S.
dollar short positions above the threshold set by the bank for
the new reserve rules. [ID:nLDE7050Z6]

A U.S. dollar short position essentially means a bet on a
stronger real (BRBY: ). Brazil’s currency strengthened 4.6
percent last year on top of firming 34 percent in 2009, which
has worried the government as exporters have struggled to sell
their wares abroad where they are now more expensive.

Itau Unibanco (ITUB4.SA: ), Brazil’s largest private-sector
bank, lost 1.48 percent, as rival Bradesco (BBDC4.SA: ) shed 1.89
percent. Banco do Brasil (BBAS3.SA: ), Latin America’s largest
bank by assets, declined 0.59 percent.

Helping limit losses in Sao Paulo, shares of real estate
developer PDG Realty (PDGR3.SA: ) added 1.49 percent.

“(I)n December, investors started to sell due to fears
related to potential interest rate hikes by the Central Bank.
We believe that stocks were excessively down, creating an entry
point,” wrote Oswaldo Telles Filho of Banif Securities to
clients.

Shares of oil and gas company OGX (OGXP3.SA: ) gained 0.73
percent, as well. The company announced earlier this weak signs
of oil off the Brazilian shore.

In Mexico, the IPC index (.MXX: ) dipped 0.19 percent, though
still trading near a life high set earlier this week.

Shares of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s conglomerate
Grupo Carso (GCARSOA1.MX: ) rose 1.59 percent after spinning off
mining and real estate companies. [ID:nN06113562]

Of the spin-offs, Minera Frisco (MFRISCOA1.MX: ) gained 13.82
percent and real estate business Inmuebles Carso (INCARSOB1.MX: )
dropped 10.66 pct percent.

Mining company Penoles (PENOLES.MX: ) also weighed on the
index, with a fall of 3.4 percent.

Chile’s IPSA index (.IPSA: ) initially rose to a new intraday
life high but retreated 0.07 percent later in the session.

Shares of industrial conglomerate Copec (COP.SN: ) gave up
1.34 percent, as paper producer CMPC (CAR.SN: ) moved down 2.39
percent.

Limiting losses, retailer Falabella (FAL.SN: ) advanced 0.63
percent.

(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks slip, weighed by Brazilian banks