EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks mixed, fiscal cliff euphoria wanes
* Profit-taking weighs on Latam equities * Petrobras supports Brazil's Bovespa * Brazil Bovespa rises 0.36 pct, Mexico IPC down 0.15 pct By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve SAO PAULO, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks were mixed on Thursday as investor euphoria over a U.S. budget deal wore off. Shares of state-controlled oil firm Petrobras drove gains in Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index, while profit-taking weighed on Mexico's IPC index. Investors took a breather on Thursday, a day after Latin American stocks posted their biggest daily gain in five months. Stocks soared on Wednesday on the back of an agreement by U.S. lawmakers to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that threatened to throw the U.S. economy into recession. "After a day of euphoria like yesterday, investors are stopping to think," said Aloisio Villeth Lemos, an analyst with Agora Corretora in Rio de Janeiro. "There are still things that need to be straightened out in the U.S." While the fiscal cliff was avoided, analysts said investors will remain cautious over the outlook for the world's largest economy due to upcoming negotiations over debt limits and spending cuts. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index edged higher, adding 0.36 percent to 62,775.80. A technical indicator known as the relative strength index remained in "overbought" territory for a second straight day, however, indicating any rally in the Bovespa may be short-lived. State-controlled oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, rose 1.8 percent, contributing most to the index's gains. Petrobras said on Thursday that it declared two offshore oil prospects with an estimated 351 million barrels of oil and gas to be commercially viable opening the door to new output. Net foreign inflows to the Bovespa picked up steam in December, reaching 3.72 billion reais ($1.82 billion) compared with 534 million reais in November. "It's a question of price," said Carlos Manuel Pereira Sousa, a strategist with Lopes Filho e Associados in Rio de Janeiro, who said poor performance in the Bovespa in previous months attracted bargain-hunters seeking exposure to Brazilian equities. Mexico's IPC index fell its most in over a week, losing 0.15 percent to 44,236.32 as profit-takers sold off the most widely traded shares the day after the index posted its biggest daily gain in over six months. Lender Grupo Financiero Banorte fell 1 percent, contributing most to the index's losses, while telecommunications firm America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, dropped 0.2 percent. Chile's IPSA index fell 0.16 percent to 4,342.13, as lender Banco Santander Chile and industrial conglomerate Copec fell 1.27 percent and 0.35 percent, respectively. Latin America's key stock indexes at 1457 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI LatAm 3,896.41 0.13 2.47 Brazil Bovespa 62,775.80 0.36 2.99 Mexico IPC 44,236.32 -0.15 1.21 Chile IPSA 4,342.13 -0.16 0.95 Chile IGPA 21,221.86 -0.15 0.72 Argentina MerVal 2,973.59 0.7 4.18 Colombia IGBC 14,687.83 -0.19 15.97 Peru IGRA 21,038.59 0.11 1.98 Venezuela IBC 471,444.53 0 0.00
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