Latin American stocks slip as Brazil output falls

Latin American stocks dipped Friday as news of plunging industrial output in Brazil was balanced by a less-than-expected rise in US unemployment. Brazil's benchmark Ibovespa stock index fell 0.7 percent to 37,105. The national statistics agency reported a record 17.2 percent drop in industrial output in January as Brazil's cooling economy and tight credit conditions slash demand for cars, chemicals, steel and other products. Brazil's currency strengthened slightly to trade at 2.37 reals to the US dollar. Mexico's IPC index lost 1.9 percent to 17,043. The peso strengthened nearly 2 percent to trade at 15.1 to the US dollar, a day after Mexico's central bank vowed to sell $100 million in reserves at market rates every day through June 8 to boost the sagging currency.