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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks slide on trade jitters, currencies mixed

By Agamoni Ghosh May 10 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks slid on Friday as investor sentiment remained fragile over uncertainty related to the U.S.-China trade deal, while currencies were mixed in the region.

Global equities started the day on a strong note as investors looked past increased U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and focused on hopes for a trade deal between the United States and China.

U.S. markets however, opened lower after President Donald Trump said he was in "absolutely no rush" to finalize a trade agreement with China.

MSCI's index of Latin American stocks slid about 0.5% on the trade-related jitters and weakness in Brazil's Bovespa which came on the back of some disappointing earnings.

Index heavyweight Vale, the world's biggest producer of iron ore, slid after posting a $1.6 billion loss in the first quarter as the company reels from a deadly dam disaster.

BRF, the world's largest chicken exporter, slid 2.5% after the company said it lost money for the third consecutive quarter grappling with higher feed costs and trade restrictions in key markets such as Saudi Arabia.

Mexican stocks fell about 1% while the peso snapped a four-day losing streak.

Investors closely watched developments related to Pemex after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the state-oil firm will oversee construction of a new refinery, dismissing private sector suitors for the project.

The announcement fueled fresh doubts about the financial health of the cash-strapped firm which has the largest debt among all state oil firms in Latin America.

Chile's peso was marginally higher a day after its central bank held benchmark interest rate steady in line with market expectations.

UBS Wealth Management cut its exposure to emerging market stocks and bonds late on Thursday, changing its portfolio as an intensification of China-U.S. trade tensions bruised markets.

Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1445 GMT Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1030.80 0.23 6.5 MSCI LatAm 2626.66 -1.11 3.51 Brazil Bovespa 93387.75 -1.5 6.26 Mexico IPC 42740.61 -1.05 2.64 Chile IPSA 5017.08 -0.56 -0.56 Argentina MerVal 34433.23 0.92 13.67 Colombia IGBC 12554.54 -0.17 12.66 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.9679 -0.39 -16.50 Mexico peso 19.1631 0.33 2.80 Chile peso 685 0.07 -10.27 Colombia peso 3277.45 -0.09 -9.01 Peru sol 3.315 -0.06 -2.35 Argentina peso 44.9300 0.82 -58.60 (interbank) (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh Editing by Phil Berlowitz)