EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks hit 8-mth low on Batista pessimism
* Mexico's America Movil lead gains, up 1.86 pct * Mexico's lower house passes sweeping telecom reform * Firms owned by Brazilian billionaire Batista buckle * Brazil Bovespa falls 0.6 pct, Mexico IPC up 0.37 pct By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve SAO PAULO, March 22 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks fell to their lowest close in eight months on Friday, weighed down by mining and oil firms that make up Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's shrinking empire. Mexican stocks rounded out a three-day winning streak, boosted by shares in tycoon Carlos Slim's telecom giant America Movil, which rose after Congress took a step towards approving a sweeping reform of the sector. Chile's bourse was flat, rising 0.02 percent. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 0.6 percent to 55,243.40, its lowest close since late July of last year. The index was dragged down by shares of Batista-owned oil company OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA and iron ore miner MMX, which plunged 9.2 and 8.3 percent, respectively. Batista has been shrinking EBX, his energy, oil, mining and logistics conglomerate which include OGX and MMX, after a series of setbacks that caused an average loss of 70 percent for the listed companies. On Thursday, Batista confirmed he is in talks to sell a stake of Brazilian firm MPX Energia SA, of which he is the majority shareholder, to Germany's E.ON according to a filing. "It's the movement of a herd again," said John Peter Brugger, analyst at Leme Investimentos in Florianopolis, citing persistent market concerns about the outlook for companies within the EBX group. The Bovespa has dropped in nine of the last 11 sessions, as worries over a potential banking sector collapse in Cyprus and weak European growth data weighed on shares. Mexico's IPC index rose 0.37 percent to 42,686.68, after the country's lower house of Congress passed a sweeping overhaul of the telecom sector early Friday morning, which analysts expect to clear a path for Carlos Slim to finally enter Mexico's paid TV market. Slim's America Movil, rose 1.86 percent, contributing the most to the index's rise. Shares of Mexican broadcaster Televisa rose 0.67 percent. Latin America's key stock indexes at 2320 GMT: Stock indexes daily YTD % % chang Latest chang e e MSCI LatAm 3,734.8 -0.8 -1.66 1 Brazil Bovespa 55,243. -0.6 -9.37 40 Mexico IPC 42,686. 0.37 -2.33 68 Chile IPSA 4,451.0 0.02 3.48 3 Chile IGPA 21,777. -0.02 3.35 07 Argentina MerVal 3,430.1 -1.71 20.18 7 Colombia IGBC 13,983. 0.42 -4.97 96 Peru IGRA 19,992. 0.13 -3.09 52 Venezuela IBC 629,077 -0.48 33.44 .31
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