EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks flat, America Movil weighs on Mexico index
* Homebuilders slip after Brazil's MRV posts weak Q4 results * Mexico's America Movil falls on reform bill * Brazil Bovespa flat, Mexico IPC drops 0.22 pct By Asher Levine SAO PAULO, March 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks were little changed on Friday after weak results from homebuilder MRV dampened the outlook for the country's construction sector, offsetting encouraging economic growth data from the central bank. America Movil weighed on Mexico's bourse after a congressional committee passed a reform bill for the telecommunications sector, while Chile's IPSA index extended a recent slide. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index pared early gains to trade flat at 57,299.51. The index is on track to close the session with a nearly 2 percent weekly loss, however, its worst since early February. Construction firms contributed most to the index's declines, with shares of MRV Engenharia e Participacoes SA down over 6 percent after the company reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings late Thursday. "We expect a further negative impact in the stock price in the short term," analysts at Espirito Santo investment bank led by Eduardo Silveira said in an investor note Friday, citing concerns about the company's profitability. Other stocks in the sector fell, with rival Gafisa SA down 1.5 percent and PDG Realty SA slipping 0.5 percent. The Bovespa was partly supported, analysts said, by data from Brazil's central bank on Friday that suggested a recovery in Latin America's largest economy gained steam at the beginning of the year. Still, Brazil's Bovespa is lagging far behind other markets this year as concerns over high inflation, slow growth and heavy government intervention in the private sector lead investors to seek out safer opportunities elsewhere. "The market here will only improve if we have a signal of political changes next year," said Marcelo Varejao, analyst at brokerage firm Socopa Corretora in Sao Paulo. "Investors need to see a more market-friendly administration." Mexico's IPC index dropped for the fourth session in five, losing 0.22 percent to 43,252.86. Shares of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim's phone giant America Movil fell nearly 3 percent and contributed most to the index's decline after a congressional committee passed an ambitious bill that aims to loosen his hold on the telecommunications market. Chile's IPSA index retreated for the fourth straight day, losing 0.57 percent to 4,424.48. Retailer Falabella dropped 1.6 percent, contributing most to the index's decline, while LATAM Airlines Group fell 2.6 percent. Latin America's key stock indexes at 1519 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI LatAm 3,845.49 -0.43 1.69 Brazil Bovespa 57,299.51 0.03 -5.99 Mexico IPC 43,252.86 -0.22 -1.04 Chile IPSA 4,424.48 -0.57 2.86 Chile IGPA 21,692.21 -0.53 2.95 Argentina MerVal 3,506.81 0.21 22.86 Colombia IGBC - - - Peru IGRA 19,902.60 0.53 -3.52 Venezuela IBC - - -
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