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Latin American Stocks, Currencies Continue to Fall

Several Latin American stocks and currencies fell during another day of volatile trading Wednesday on fears of a global slowdown.

Brazil's stock market fell five percent at its open, started to climb and then dropped to 39,391 points at midday. Brazil's currency, the real, dropped as much as 10 percent against the U.S. dollar.

In Mexico, the stock exchange was up nearly two-thirds of a percent to 21,017, but the peso fell as much as 14 percent.

Mexican finance officials also announced that they would auction $2.5 billion in reserves to prop up the struggling currency.

Elsewhere, Argentina's Merval index, along with Chile's stock market and peso and the Colombian currency of the same name, fell in value.

Analysts say the market volatility could devastate Latin America's commodities-based economies.

Chile's Codelco is the world's largest copper producer. Peru is the world's largest silver producer and a major supplier of copper, zinc and gold.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, and AP.