EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks choppy as index futures near expiration

Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:31am EST

Related Topics

* Brazil investors await expiration of index futures
    * German investor confidence spikes in December
    * Brazil Bovespa falls 0.39 pct, Mexico IPC flat

    By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve
    SAO PAULO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks were choppy
on Tuesday as traders looked towards the expiration of index
futures on Wednesday while shrugging off positive investor
confidence data from Germany.
    Gains by steelmakers helped offset losses by oil firm OGX
 on Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index, while
Mexico's IPC index was little changed.
    Shares rose early in the session after data showed German
analyst and investor sentiment rose more than expected in
December. 
    Brazil's Bovespa index was unable to hold on to gains,
though, with shares of heavily weighted oil producer OGX
Petroleo e Gas SA dropping 3.5 percent. 
    The shares fell after the company, controlled by Brazilian
billionaire Eike Batista, said on Tuesday t hat it m ay sell
st akes in older oil blocks and fields to raise capital after
purchasing a stake in an offshore oilfield. 
    "Shares in Eike Batista's companies rose yesterday and are
returning their gains today," said Pedro Galdi, a strategist at
SLW Corretora in Sao Paulo. 
    "Tomorrow we have the expiration of index futures so people
are putting together their strategies and looking to drive the
market higher or lower," he added.
    Steelmakers supported the index, with shares of Companhia
Siderurgica Nacional up 2.2 percent and those of
rival Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA up 1.04
percent.
    "The market perceived that now is the moment for steel
shares to come up for air," said Henrique Kleine, chief analyst
with Magliano Corretora in Sao Paulo. "It's a reflection of the
weaker currency and a slightly better perspective for the
sector."
    The Bovespa has struggled to break resistance at 59,500
points for nearly two months as foreign investors exit Brazil's
equities market.
    In the year through Dec. 7, foreign investors withdrew a net
1.84 billion reais ($886.5 million) from the Bovespa, driven by
concerns over government intervention in Brazil's private
sector, weak economic growth, and worries over U.S. budget
negotiations.
    "We've reached a moment in which no one wants to risk it in
the market anymore," Kleine said, adding that concerns over U.S.
budget negotiations have sapped demand for riskier assets.
    "The index is unable to gain strength because there is an
absence of foreign investors," h e said.
    Mexico's IPC index was little changed as a 0.6
percent gain by lender Grupo Financiero Banorte 
and a 1 percent rise by cement manufacturer Cemex 
helped offset a 1.5 percent drop by retail giant Wal-Mart de
Mexico.
    Chile's IPSA index edged higher, rising 0.17 percent
to 4,142.75. 
    Regional energy group Enersis climbed 0.7 percent,
contributing most to the index's gains, while fertilizer,
lithium and iodine producer Soquimich added 0.36
percent.

    Latin America's key stock indexes at 1435 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                           daily %      YTD %
                          Latest          change     change
 MSCI LatAm                  3,702.99        0.2       2.59
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa             59,016.85      -0.39       3.99
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                 43,109.25      -0.06      16.27
                                                  
 Chile IPSA                  4,142.75       0.17      -0.83
                                                  
 Chile IGPA                 20,349.67       0.15       1.09
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal            2,572.39       2.06       4.46
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC              14,515.21       0.10      14.60
                                                  
 Peru IGRA                  19,912.81       0.02       2.26
                                                  
 Venezuela IBC             419,926.88          0     258.80
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