* Brazil's Bovespa falls 0.17 percent, Mexico's IPC is
SAO PAULO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks edged
lower on Tuesday, with investors cautious over a potential
tapering of U.S. monetary stimulus and after slightly
weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data.
The U.S. Federal Reserve should begin trimming its monthly
asset purchases in March, a Reuters poll showed on Monday, but
some economists believe it can come as early as this month or at
the January policy meeting.
The Fed's stimulus program has helped support demand for
riskier assets such as Latin American equities and increased
speculation over Fed action has tended to drag on local shares.
Data on Tuesday showed industrial output in China grew 10
percent in November, a four-month low and slightly below market
China is Brazil's biggest trading partner and a key
purchaser of Latin American commodities exports such as
iron-ore, soy, copper and petroleum.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index was down 0.17
percent to 51,080.46 after a three-day rally.
Steelmaker Gerdau SA and state-controlled lender
Banco do Brasil SA contributed most to the index's
losses, falling 1.4 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Brazil's largest
non-government bank, dipped 0.2 percent. The bank's return on
equity is likely to surpass 20 percent next year as it benefits
from lower delinquencies and bad loan provisions and climbing
interest income, a source told Reuters.
Homebuilder Gafisa SA helped support the index,
rising 3.5 percent after the company said it had concluded the
sale of 70 percent of its Alphaville unit and announced a stock
Mexico's IPC index was nearly unchanged, hovering
near 42,341 as a 0.5 percent loss in lender Grupo Financiero
Banorte offset a 2 percent rise in mining firm
Chile's IPSA index was also flat, with a 0.5 percent
gain in beverage company CCU offsetting a 0.9 percent
decline in retailer Falabella.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1447 GMT:
Stock indexes Latest daily % YTD %
MSCI LatAm 3,235.77 0.05 -14.84
Brazil Bovespa 51,080.46 -0.17 -16.20
Mexico IPC 42,276.56 -0.03 -3.27
Chile IPSA 3,702.73 -0.04 -13.92
Chile IGPA 18,264.43 -0.04 -13.32
Argentina MerVal 5,345.94 0.22 87.29
Colombia IGBC 13,047.75 0.10 -11.34
Peru IGRA 14,776.16 -0.02 -28.37
Venezuela IBC 2,616,216.28 0.49 454.94