EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks hit 4-month low on euro zone data, Cyprus
* Euro zone PMI data worse than expected in March * Bovespa closes at lowest level since mid-November * Brazil Bovespa falls 0.81 pct, Mexico IPC flat By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve SAO PAULO, March 21 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks hit a four-month low as concern over global economic growth drove down shares of oil producers, miners and banks. Carlos Slim's telephone giant, America Movil, drove gains in Mexico's IPC index, helping the bourse to eke out a small rise, while Chile's bourse ended a two-day winning streak with a small loss. Shares tracked global markets lower after Markit's Flash Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) showed economic growth in the euro zone contracted more than expected in March. "With the exception of the United States, which has had a substantial economic improvement, the data has been coming in quite poorly in other places," said Marcello Paixao, a partner with Principia Capital Management in Sao Paulo. Concerns over global economic growth tend to lead investors away from riskier Latin American assets in favor of safe-haven investments such as the U.S. dollar. Adding to investor jitters, the European Central Bank on Thursday gave Cyprus a Monday deadline to raise billions of euros in order to receive a critical bailout and avoid a banking sector collapse. The global risk-off attitude led to a 0.81 percent decline in Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index, which has fallen in seven of the last eight sessions. Shares of Brazil's state-led oil company, Petrobas fell 1.7 percent, while OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA, owned by billionaire Eike Batista dipped 4.58, pulling down the bourse. Brazilian iron ore miner MMX also owned by Batista, fell more than 7 percent despite data that showed an improved economic growth outlook for China, a major customer for the commodity. The Bovespa is currently at its lowest level since mid-November, and has lost nearly 9 percent this year alone. "We have the combination of corporate earnings that are still not very good and government mismanagement (of the economy)," Paixao said. "Foreign investors are not very optimistic about Brazil." While most analysts expect interest rates to rise in coming months to deal with mounting inflation pressure, the Bovespa may not suffer additional losses as a result. "We believe that better growth accompanied by fewer interventionist policies will minimize the negative effects that an interest rate rise would create among investors," JPMorgan analyst Emy Shayo Cherman wrote in an investor note on Thursday. Mexico's IPC index eked out a gain of 0.08 percent to close at 42,531.07, boosted by America Movil shares which spiked 4.31 percent. The telecom giant's stocks had fallen heavily since Mexico announced a reform of the sector last week aimed at boosting competition by capping market share. But the firm said on Thursday afternoon it has obtained the exclusive transmission rights in Latin America for the 2014 winter Olympic games as well as the 2016 summer Olympic games. The announcement boosted some market bets that the company stands to gain more by entrance into the paid TV sector - from which it has been barred by regulators - than it stands to lose by ceding share of the telephone and internet markets. Mexico's Congress is slated to vote on a sweeping reform bill later on Thursday. Chile's IPSA index fell for the first session in three, dropping 0.15 percent to 4,450.35 as shares of industrial conglomerate Copec fell 2.05 percent. Latin America's key stock indexes at 2321 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI LatAm 3,764.98 -0.56 -0.86 Brazil Bovespa 55,576.67 -0.81 -8.82 Mexico IPC 42,531.07 0.08 -2.69 Chile IPSA 4,450.35 -0.15 3.46 Chile IGPA 21,780.38 -0.16 3.37 Argentina MerVal 3,489.99 0.13 22.27 Colombia IGBC 13,925.71 -0.15 -5.37 Peru IGRA 19,966.45 0.57 -3.21 Venezuela IBC 632,130.00 0 34.09
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