EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks choppy on earnings concerns: steel shares rally
* Investors cautious over Q4 results * Steelmaker CSN rises on possible gov't support in mill buy * Brazil Bovespa gains 0.13 pct, Mexico IPC falls 0.32 pct By Asher Levine SAO PAULO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks were choppy on Tuesday as investors remained cautious over the next crop of corporate earnings results, though steel shares lent support. Mexico's IPC index fell its most in a month following a recent rally, while Chile's bourse edged lower. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 0.13 percent to 60,103.82 in early afternoon trading after spending most of the session in negative territory. "We are at a very critical point at 60,000 points," said Anderson Luz, a partner at brokerage InTrader in Sao Paulo. "It's a psychological support level, and if we break it, we'll likely see the index sliding as far as 57,750." Many investors have refrained from taking long or medium-term positions in the Bovespa in recent weeks, analysts said, due to worries that local companies are unlikely to post encouraging fourth-quarter results, especially following weak third-quarter growth in Brazil's economy. "The market will need to see good results in order to advance and the expectations are not the best," Luz added. Shares of steelmaker Cia Siderúrgica Nacional SA rose over 3 percent after a local newspaper reported that state development bank BNDES could deploy up to 4 billion reais ($2 billion) to help bankroll the firm's potential purchase of ThyssenKrupp AG's Steel Americas unit. Rival steelmakers Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA and Gerdau SA rose 3.9 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, after Goldman Sachs Group Inc analyst Marcelo Aguiar said in a Tuesday report that recent underperformance in Brazilian steel shares was unjustified and seemed "excessive." Preferred shares of iron-ore mining giant Vale fell 0.7 percent after the company said on Monday that it would propose shareholder dividends of at least $4 billion this year, two-thirds of the minimum dividends approved in 2012, following a global slowdown and a drop in iron ore prices. Mexico's IPC index fell 0.32 percent to 45,764.07, pulling back from a recent rally that pushed stocks up nearly 5 percent this month. A technical indicator known as the relative strength index remained in "overbought" territory, however, indicating stocks may have room to fall further in coming sessions. Telecommunications firm America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, fell 0.44 percent, contributing most to the IPC's loss, while mining firm Grupo Mexico rose 0.6 percent. Chile's IPSA index fell for the first session in three, losing 0.32 percent to 4,504.25. Conglomerate AntarChile fell 2.75 percent, contributing most to the index's losses, while Banco de Chile lost 0.7 percent. Latin America's key stock indexes at 1433 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI LatAm 3,943.05 0.57 3.23 Brazil Bovespa 60,103.82 0.13 -1.39 Mexico IPC 45,764.07 -0.32 4.71 Chile IPSA 4,504.25 -0.32 4.72 Chile IGPA 21,973.89 -0.26 4.29 Argentina MerVal 3,354.05 0.35 17.51 Colombia IGBC 14,962.14 -0.10 1.67 Peru IGRA 20,936.50 0.05 1.49 Venezuela IBC 491,958.50 -0.01 4.35
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