UPDATE 2-Chile stocks hit record, led by commodities
* IPSA hits all-time high on commodities, utilities
* IPSA tracks regional trend on improving global economy
* Chile bank and retail shares seen with room to grow (Adds analyst quote, stock prices and background)
By Aaron Nelsen
SANTIAGO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Chile's leading share index hit a record intraday high on Monday, led by commodity and utility stocks and borrowing support from global bourses.
Chile's blue-chip IPSA index .IPSA was up 0.57 percent at 3,519.29 points in afternoon trade after earlier hitting a record 3,523.22.
The IPSA's previous intraday record of 3,512.19 was hit on Oct. 26, 2007. The index marked a record closing high of 3,499.50 on July 3, 2007.
"If global bourses rise, obviously the local market will follow," said Cesar Perez-Novoa, chief executive of the Celfin Capital brokerage. "We don't see negative pressures."
Growing optimism of a world economic recovery bolstered global stocks on Monday.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI gained 0.94 percent, to 10,426.46 points while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 closed up 1.5 percent to 1,027.87 points.[ID:nN21242717]
An upswing in commodity prices like oil and copper and stimulus measures have helped many Latin American economies weather the worst of the global crisis and boosted their stocks. For FACTBOX on Latam top bourse gains this year, click on [ID:nN21241999].
Brazil's Bovespa .BVSP has climbed around 78 percent year-to-date and was trading up 0.18 percent at 66.917.38 points on Monday. While Mexico's IPC index .MXX rose 0.59 percent on Monday and was up around 42 percent so far in 2009.
ROOM FOR GROWTH
In Chile, commodity and utility stocks led the bourse on Monday.
Industrial conglomerate Copec COP.SN, the most heavily weighted share on the bourse, was up 0.67 percent to 7,600 pesos per share while giant fertilizer producer Soquimich SQM_pb.SN rose 0.42 percent to 19,611 pesos.
Chile-based regional energy group Enersis ENE.SN traded 2.97 percent higher at 218.50 pesos per share. Electricity generator Endesa END.SN was up 1.26 percent at 842 pesos.
Heading into 2010, retail and banking stocks are seen with the most upside, while commodity stocks are also seen gaining, analysts say.
A recovering local economy is expected to boost department stores' sales and improve banks' results next year.
"What we're seeing today in Chile is the market anticipating a better performance in 2010," said Agustin Alvarez, head of research for BICE Inversiones. "Another factor that explains the good market performance is the combination of macroeconomic policies employed to face the crisis in Chile."
Chile has injected billions of dollars as part of a stimulus plan to jump-start the economy amid the global financial crisis that hurt the country's main export, copper. Chile's economy is expected to contract 1.9 percent in 2009, but the central bank is projecting growth of 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent next year. (Reporting by Aaron Nelsen; editing by Alonso Soto and Kenneth Barry)
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