EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico stocks near record high on U.S jobs data

Thu Oct 4, 2012 7:49pm EDT

* Stable U.S. jobless claims data supports IPC
    * Cemex jumps to 20-month high after debt sale, guidance
    * Mexico IPC up 1.02 pct, Brazil Bovespa loses 0.29 pct

    By Danielle Assalve and Gabriel Stargardter
    SAO PAULO/MEXICO CITY Oct 4 (Reuters) - Mexican stocks
jumped higher on Thursday after stable U.S. unemployment claims
data raised hopes of a stronger job market in Mexico's top
trading partner, while Brazil equities slipped as shares of
homebuilders fell.
    Mexican stocks rose to just shy of a record high after data
showed fewer-than-expected Americans filed for unemployment
benefits last week, leading to hopes that Friday's closely
watched non-farm payrolls report would show improvement.
    "There's more cause to have faith in the growth of the
market," said Carlos Gonzalez, head of analysis at Monex
financial services firm in Mexico City.
    Mexico's IPC stock index rose 1.02 percent to
41,421.74 points. The gauge has jumped 5 percent since early
September, supported by pledges of monetary stimulus from the
U.S. and central banks in Europe.
    Mexico's IPC stock index is expected to close 2012 at an all
time high of 42,850, a Reuters poll showed late last month. 
 
    The MSCI Latin American stock index rose
0.86 percent to 3,704.99, bringing its rise since the beginning
of September to more than 4 percent.
    The shares of cement maker Cemex rose 4.48
percent to a 20-month high after the company drew heavy interest
with a $1.5 billion debt offer. 
    The Monterrey-based company also issued its first financial
forecast since February 2009. It expected third-quarter earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to show a
rise of 9 percent from a year earlier in dollar terms. 
    Gonzalez said the IPC index would likely keep rising to year
end. The gauge hit a record high in July, but then slumped on
concerns about Europe's debt troubles before coming back.
    "Last time international forces drove the downturn. Now, I
think, although we're still exposed to international volatility,
we're better off," Gonzalez said. He cited monetary stimulus
programs in the United States and Europe that have eased
concerns of a sharp downturn in global markets.
    In Brazil, the Bovespa index fell 0.29 percent to
hit a nearly one-month low at 58,458.
    Data showed Brazilian car output and sales sank in
September, following a spike in August, as extended tax breaks
for consumers lost their appeal and cast doubt on the effect of
some recent stimulus measures. 
    Homebuilder shares fell, with PDG Realty losing
3.88 percent and Gafisa down 7.56 percent.
    While traders remained anxious - the Bovespa is down nearly
6 percent since mid-September - many expected other stimulus
measures, including lower benchmark interest rates, to help ease
an economic slowdown this year.
    "As much as the Brazilian stock market has performed
slightly worse than the U.S. markets, the tone for global risk
assets remains favorable," said Daniel Cunha, an analyst at XP
Investments in Rio de Janeiro.
    "We're still in a chapter in which global authorities are
actively trying to stimulate economies and this creates a
favorable environment for risky assets."
    Shares of Cielo, Brazil's largest card payment
processor, rose 5.09 percent. The shares had slumped around 20
percent since late September as concerns about government
pressure on financial services firms to lower fees eroded
confidence in the industry. 
    Chile's benchmark Ipsa index ended the day up 0.75
percent at 4,277.22, led by Santander Chile, up 2.36
percent. 
    Latin America's key stock indexes at 2122 GMT:  
    
 Stock indexes                                         % change
                              Latest              
                                                               
 MSCI LatAm                          3,704.99              0.86
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa                     58,458.00             -0.29
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                         41,421.74              1.02
                                                  
 Chile IPSA                          4,277.22              0.75
                                                  
 Chile IGPA                         20,762.31              0.63
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal                    2,469.42              0.55
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC                      14,292.66              1.28
                                                  
 Peru IGRA                          21,680.57              1.16
                                                  
 Venezuela IBC                     373,702.81               2.2
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