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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks fall as tariff talk spurs profit-taking

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SAO PAULO, March 2 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index led losses across Latin America on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to tack tariffs onto steel and aluminum imports sparked a round of profit-taking. Among the biggest losers on the Bovespa was major miner Vale SA , which mines key steel-making ingredient iron ore. Its shares had fallen 3 percent in afternoon trade, accounting for 30 percent of the Bovespa's drop. Brazilian steelmakers Gerdau SA , Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA , and Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA had all posted their biggest intraday drops in weeks. "Everyone wanted to take profits, and there wasn't a reason. So the market took advantage of Trump's talk to do it," said Ari Santos, manager at the Bovespa desk at brokerage Hencorp Commcor.

Brazil's Bovespa was trading off 0.85 percent at midday. Elsewhere in Latin America, markets were also down on Trump's proposal to put a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, with companies exposed to the steel market consistently the biggest decliners. In Chile, where the benchmark IPSA index fell 0.34 percent, iron and steel maker Cap SA was down 3.2 percent, after falling 5.6 percent on Thursday. Latin American currencies were generally mixed on the news. While the Mexican peso felt some upward pressure toward its 100-day moving average according to Banco BASE, it was held back by Trump's trade talk. A statement by a key Canadian union leader in the late morning that the Canadian team renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement was "completely frustrated" also put pressure on the peso. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1711 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1180,60 -0,98 2,92 MSCI LatAm 3043,91 -0,61 8,29 Brazil Bovespa 84653,99 -0,85 10,80 Mexico IPC 47471,47 -0,27 -3,82 Chile IPSA 5511,28 -0,3 -0,96 Chile IGPA 27673,57 -0,48 -1,10 Argentina MerVal 31689,21 -1,01 5,40 Colombia IGBC 11312,92 -0,08 -0,51 Venezuela IBC 4161,85 -0,84 -86,87 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3,2536 0,02 1,83 Mexico peso 18,8585 -0,09 4,46 Chile peso 598,7 -0,48 2,66 Colombia peso 2867 0,52 4,01 Peru sol 3,254 0,22 -0,52 Argentina peso 20,2400 -0,40 -8,10 (interbank) Argentina peso 20,27 0,05 -5,13 (parallel) (Reporting by Gram Slattery and Gabriela Mello Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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