EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico stocks hit record high on US jobs data
* Mexican stocks get further support from reform optimism * Mexico IPC rises 1.24 pct to end at all-time high * Brazil Bovespa gains 0.19 pct, driven by homebuilders By Michael O'Boyle and Danielle Assalve MEXICO CITY/SAO PAULO, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Mexican stocks rose to an all-time high on Friday after the U.S. unemployment rate hit a nearly four-year low, ba ckin g h opes that U.S. demand for Mexican exports would hold up despite a global economic slowdown. Surprisingly strong American demand for Mexican-made goods so far this year has pushed analysts to lift economic growth estimates for Latin America's second biggest economy. Moreover, progress by lawmakers over the last week on approving a labor reform bill has raised hopes the new president, who takes office on Dec. 1, will succeed in pushing through long-stalled fiscal and energy reforms. "There is more confidence that the other reforms will follow along, and this has been giving Mexico even more force," said Gerardo Roman, head of stock trading at Activner in Mexico City. Mexico's IPC index rose 1.24 percent to 41,934.08 points after L abor Department data showed the U.S. unemployment rate dropped by 0.3 percentage point in September to 7.8 percent. The IPC has jumped more than 6 percent since early September, supported by pledges of monetary stimulus from the central banks of the United States and Europe. Billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil added 2.18 percent after HSBC analysts raised their rating to "overweight" from "neutral," saying the firm would outpace rivals in meeting growing mobile data demand with its vast Americas-wide network. Shares in top U.S. cement supplier Cemex rose 1.84 percent to close at its highest January 2011, adding to gains following a successful debt offering on Thursday. Most analysts expect modest stock gains through the end of the year. The median of a Reuters poll in late September projected that the IPC index would end the year at 42,850, about 2 percent higher than Friday's record. Mexican stocks hit a record high in July, then sold off before climbing back. Activner's Roman said that disappointing ea rnings from U.S.companies, which begin reporting next week, co uld spu r a pullback. "This is getting a little too hot for my taste," he said. "Earnings season could be a reality check." The MSCI Latin American stock index rose 0 .65 p ercent while Brazil's Bovespa index a dded 0.19 p ercent a s it edged up off a one-month low. Homebuilders posted some of the index's biggest gains after an increase in the maximum price of homes eligible for the government's low-income housing program. "That will help with investors' attitudes on the construction industry," said analyst Marcos Pereira of the Votorantim brokerage in Sao Paulo. "It helps in the short run with slightly better pricing of assets in the sector." Shares of Cyrela Brazil Realty, the country's second biggest homebuilder, rose 4 .3 2 p ercent, while rival Brookfield Incorporações gained 4. 34 p e rcent. Shares of oil company OGX, controlled by billionaire Eike Batista, shed 3 .65 p ercent. The company got an environmental license to drill in two offshore exploration areas in Brazil's Campos basin. Latin America's key stock indexes at 2200 GMT: Stock indexes daily % year-to- Latest change ate % change MSCI LatAm 3,728.90 0.65 3.51 Brazil Bovespa 58,571.59 0.19 3.20 Mexico IPC 41,934.08 1.24 13.10 Chile IPSA 4,302.69 0.6 3.00 Chile IGPA 20,885.45 0.59 3.75 Argentina MerVal 2,485.76 0.66 0.94 Colombia IGBC 14,354.21 0.43 13.33 Peru IGRA 21,766.63 0.4 11.78 Venezuela IBC 403,515.56 7.98 244.78
- Gaza death toll rises; Hamas fires rockets at Tel Aviv |
- Ukraine jets pound rebels after deadly missile attack |
- Female Yahoo executive sued for sexual harassment
- Teen survivor of Texas shootings says slain family members 'in much better place'
- Trump Plaza in Atlantic City to close, adding to city's woes: report