LATIN AMERICAN MARKETS: Brazil, Mexico Stocks Rise As Resources Gain

Date : 06/25/2010 @ 7:34PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Empresas Ica, S.a. De C.v. (PC) (ICAYY)
Quote : 0.1  0.0 (0.00%) @ 9:07AM

LATIN AMERICAN MARKETS: Brazil, Mexico Stocks Rise As Resources Gain

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By Carla Mozee

Brazilian and Mexican stocks rose Friday, aided by advances among resource-related issues in part as a pullback in the U.S. dollar supported a climb in prices for most commodities.

Brazil's Bovespa ended 1.4% higher at 64,832.83, bolstered by gains among communications, housing, transportation and utility stocks, with shares of CESP up 3.2% and LLX Logistica higher by 4% to front advancers. Market heavyweight Petrobras' (PBR) preferred shares rose 1.3%, their first advance in seven sessions.

Friday's gains for Petrobras found some support from a 3.1% jump in August oil futures to $78.86 a barrel as traders looked to a potential tropical storm forming in the Caribbean.

Mexico's IPC index rose 0.9% to 32,607.13, led by industrial conglomerate Alfa and construction group Empresas ICA (ICA) as their shares rose 4.2% and 2.3%, respectively.

The IPC fell 0.6% for the week, its first decline in three.

Metals stocks in Mexico City were all higher Friday, with copper miner Grupo Mexico and Compania Minera Autlan, which provides manganese ore for use in the steel industry each up 1.4%. Silver mining company Industrias Penoles gained 0.3% as July silver futures rose 37 cents to $19.11 an ounce. July copper rose 9 cents to $3.09 a pound.

Prices for oil and metals found room to rise as the dollar eased from gains against the euro ahead of this weekend's meetings of the Group of 20 and Group of 8 leading industrialized countries in Toronto. Officials are likely to work on efforts to boost global economic growth.

Brazil and Mexico, the largest- and second-largest economies in Latin America, are members of the G-20, as is Argentina.

The dollar index (DXY), which gauges the dollar's move against a basket of six other currencies, fell 0.5%.

Mexican and Brazilian stocks had traded lower earlier in the session as investors mulled mixed economic data from the U.S. Mexico's economy is particularly sensitive to conditions in the U.S. because the U.S. is Mexico's biggest trading partner.

Earlier Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department revised its reading on first-quarter growth economic activity to a rate of 2.7%, down from its original estimate of 3.2%. The revision hadn't been expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

At the same time, a reading of consumer sentiment rose to a 2-year high in June, according to a survey by Reuters and the University of Michigan. The UMich index rose to 76.0 in late June, up from 73.6 in May and 75.5 in mid-June. June's reading was the highest reading since January 2008, the month after the recession began.

Market moves

In Sao Paulo, the Bovespa closed the week with a gain of 0.6%, its third week of advances.

The stock market suffered its worst loss this week on Thursday, shedding 1.9% after an unexpected rise in the country's monthly jobless rate to 7.5%. The index has also been under pressure as investors continued to react to oil giant Petrobras' decision this week to delay a long-awaited sale of shares.

Estimates of the value of the sale have run as high as $60 billion. Uncertainty about Petrobras' capitalization plan has dogged the company's shares, leaving the preferred shares down 24% so far this year.

In market moves, Brasil Telecom (BTM) shares rose 1.5% and wireless services provider Vivo Participacoes (VIV) picked up 0.8%. Brazil's telecom agency Anatel said Thursday that Vivo remained the cell-market leader in May with a 30.25% share of subscriptions. Total cell subscriptions in Brazil increased by 1.6% to 183.7 million last month.

Anatel also said the wireless penetration rate reached 95% of the country's population.

"We continue to believe that the Brazilian market offers additional growth potential, as we expect this indicator to reach at least 105%-110% over the next two years," wrote Itau Unibanco analyst Carlos Constantini to clients.

Steelmakers Usiminas and CSN (SID) rose 1.6% and 0.7%, respectively, and iron ore provider Vale (RIO) gained 1.6%.

In Santiago, the IPSA stock index bounced up 1.2% to notch a new record closing high, at 4,123.85.

The country's peso advanced against the dollar, aided by the rise in copper prices. The currency traded at 536.20 pesos per dollar, up from 537.45 pesos on Thursday. Chile is the world's largest copper producer.

For the week, the IPSA edged up 0.1% to eke out its fifth weekly win in a row. It's the longest string of weekly wins since a nine-week run ended in late January.

Trading in Santiago will be closed Monday for a holiday.

Argentina's Merval closed up 0.8% on Friday at 2,318.14. However, it fell 0.1% for the week, the first weekly pullback since the week ended May 21.


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