EMERGING MARKETS-Latin American equities edge lower after Tillerson exit

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 SAO PAULO, March 13 (Reuters) - Latin American equities
posted slight losses on Tuesday, as Brazilian bank stocks slid
on the possibility of another interest rate cut and investors
weighed the fallout from the firing of U.S. Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson. Tillerson's ouster was generally shrugged off by markets, as
analysts said traders have grown increasingly immune to
political turmoil under President Donald Trump. In Brazil, lenders Itaú Unibanco Holding SA,
Banco Bradesco SA and Banco do Brasil SA
all fell about 1.5 percent, accounting for nearly half the 0.7
percent decline of the benchmark Bovespa stock index. Longer-term Brazilian interest rate futures continued to
decline despite stronger-than-expected retail sales
data, weighing on the outlook for bank earnings, according to
traders. "Stronger retail sales doesn't change the perception that
the central bank is going to cut the Selic (benchmark interest
rate) in March," said Flavio Serrano, a senior economist at
Banco Haitong. Stocks benefitting from lower borrowing costs in Brazil
gained on the interest rate outlook, including a 1.6 percent
rise for toll road operator CCR SA and an
index-leading 2.8 percent gain for homebuilder MRV Engenharia e
Participações SA. Elsewhere in Latin America, Mexico's IPC index was
roughly flat in morning trade, while Chile's IPSA ticked
down a modest 0.12 percent. Profit-taking on technology stocks weighed on Wall Street's
main indexes after strong gains so far this year. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1635 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change chang Latest e MSCI Emerging Markets 1224.21 0.16 5.5 MSCI LatAm 3121.48 -0.25 10.65 Brazil Bovespa 86332.86 -0.65 13.00 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC 48667.73 -0.01 -1.39 Chile IPSA 5646.78 -0.12 1.48 Chile IGPA 28228.14 -0.11 0.88 Argentina MerVal 33026.42 -0.65 9.85 Colombia IGBC 11393.38 -0.68 0.20 Currencies daily % YTD % change chang Latest e Brazil real 3.2553 0.01 -0.19 Mexico peso 18.5650 0.14 11.74 Chile peso 601.9 0.27 11.43 Colombia peso 2843.63 0.05 5.55 Peru sol 3.261 -0.03 4.69 Argentina peso (interbank) 20.1600 0.20 -21.2 5 Argentina peso (parallel) 20.63 0.29 -18.4 7 (Reporting by Gram Slattery, Claudia Violante and Paula Arend
Laier
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) 

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