EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks slip on energy rationing concern

Mon Jan 7, 2013 5:50pm EST

* Brazil's Rousseff calls emergency energy meeting - report

* Energy utilities weigh on Brazil's Bovespa

* Bovespa falls 0.94 pct, Mexico IPC up 0.14 pct

By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve

SAO PAULO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks dropped on Monday, with shares of energy producers driving losses on concerns over energy rationing in Latin America's largest economy.

Mexico's IPC index posted modest gains, while Chile's bourse was little changed.

Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index slipped for the second straight session, losing 0.94 percent to 61,932.54.

An index of energy utility shares saw its sharpest decline since September 2012, losing 2.49 percent after a local newspaper reported that President Dilma Rousseff called an emergency meeting with energy officials over potential shortages due to low water levels at hydroelectric dams.

Officials at the presidential office told Reuters that no meeting was scheduled.

Driving losses, shares of iron ore giant Vale lost 1.99 percent while state-oil producer Petrobras tumbled 1.95 percent.

Shares of state-controlled utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, known as Eletrobras, fell 4.72 percent. Those of rival Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais SA , known as Cemig, dropped 3.33 percent.

"In truth, nothing is concrete yet, there are just speculations on the possible meeting and what measures can be taken," said Anderson Luz, a managing partner with InTrader in Sao Paulo. "In the short-term it's a negative impact on the shares, but we are not totally convinced that this is something to worry about yet."

According to analysts at BTG Pactual Group, if Brazil steps up the use of thermal plants to supplement hydraulic energy sources, consumer and industrial rates could go up by as much as 14 percent.

After beginning the day in the red, Mexico's IPC index rose 0.14 percent to reach a new record high of 44,625.93 points.

Mexico's biggest retailer, Walmart de Mexico, saw its shares rise 1.1 percent, driving gains in the index. After the market close, the company reported that sales at its Mexican stores open for at least a year rose 1.6 percent in December from a year earlier.

Chile's IPSA index was little changed at 4398.65 points.

Data on Monday showed economic activity in the world's top copper producer rose faster than expected in November, though share gains were limited after Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said economic growth eased in December.