Stocks of major banks active in Latin America were rocked Thursday as market unrest in Brazil and Ar-gentina sent a shiver through investors who recalled how the region's problems caused havoc for banks a decade ago.

Brazilian stocks have lost 15% of their value in two days on reports that banks there face a liquidity crunch and that the government spent nearly 10% of its foreign reserves defending its currency. Brazilian officials denied that banks are in trouble but acknowledged spending reserves.

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