EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks down on profit-taking, rate hike bets

Fri Mar 8, 2013 5:27pm EST

Related Topics

* Unexpected rate cut boosts Mexico IPC
    * OGX falls back to earth after recent gains
    * Brazil Bovespa down 0.7 pct, Chile IPSA adds 0.74 pct

    By Danielle Assalve and Noe Torres
    SAO PAULO/MEXICO CITY, March 8 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks
fell on Friday as investors took profits following two days of
strong gains led mostly by commodity companies, while Mexican
shares rose after the central bank surprised economists with an
interest rate cut. 
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 0.7
percent, trimming the nearly 5 percent gains it accumulated over
the past two days.  
    Bets that Brazilian policymakers will tighten monetary
policy also weighed on local stocks, eclipsing encouraging jobs
data in the United States. Such expectation grew after
government data showed inflation jumped more than expected in
February.  
    "The Bovespa has been unable to stage a consistent recovery
due to domestic factors," said Newton Rosa, chief economist at
SulAmerica Investimentos. "Inflation is a sign of imbalance and
increases the risk for investors."
    Shares of OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA and
state-led oil firm Petrobras dropped 8.53 percent and
3.06 percent, respectively, as investors pocketed part of their
recent gains. 
    OGX jumped more than 16 percent on Thursday after owner Eike
Batista, until recently Brazil's richest man, inked a deal with
investment bank BTG Pactual for credit and long-term financing.
    Petrobras' shares had risen 7 percent between Wednesday and
Thursday after the company announced an increase in wholesale
diesel prices.
    In Mexico, the IPC index edged up 0.80 percent to
44,322.51 points after the central bank cut interest rates by
half a percentage point, to 4.0 percent. 
    "This could help juice the economy in case U.S. growth
slows," said Gerardo Copca, an analyst at consultancy
MetAnalisis in Mexico City. 
    Mexican stocks were also boosted by a U.S. payrolls report
that surpassed even the most optimistic forecasts. Mexico sends
nearly 80 percent of its exports to its northern neighbor.  
    In Chile, the benchmark IPSA index rose 0.74
percent, led by pulp exporter Empresas Copec, which
added 1.58 percent. 
         
    Latin America's key stock indexes at 2205 GMT: 
    
 Stock indexes                        daily %    YTD %
                           Latest      change   change
 MSCI LatAm                 3,925.02     0.83     3.35
                                               
 Brazil Bovespa            58,432.75     -0.7    -4.13
                                               
 Mexico IPC                44,322.51      0.8     1.41
                                               
 Chile IPSA                 4,528.91     0.74     5.29
                                               
 Chile IGPA                22,122.69      0.6     4.99
                                               
 Argentina MerVal           3,324.89    -0.09    16.49
                                               
 Colombia IGBC             14,486.60     0.14    -1.56
                                               
 Peru IGRA                 20,384.79      0.1    -1.19
                                               
 Venezuela IBC            617,816.50    -0.11    31.05
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