EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks mixed; Brazil extends rally, Mexico drops
* Vale, Petrobras lead Bovespa rally; longest since September * Coke bottler Femsa weighs on Mexico bourse * Brazil's Bovespa adds 1.06 pct, Mexico's IPC down 1.12 pct By Asher Levine SAO PAULO, April 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks gained on Wednesday as continued bargain-hunting fueled a rally in blue-chip commodities producers, but Mexican stocks were at risk of snapping a three-day gain after bottling group Femsa posted weak first-quarter earnings. Brazil's Bovespa stock index traded higher for the fifth straight session, adding 1.06 percent to 55,468.22 points. If the market closes in positive territory, it will be the Bovespa's longest winning streak since mid-September 2012. Shares of iron ore giant Vale SA advanced 1.95 percent, contributing most to the index's gains, with the miner expected to present its first-quarter earnings results after market close on Wednesday. State-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, rose 1.6 percent, adding to the previous session's gains after Brazil's government announced measures to support the country's ethanol industry. Petrobras currently imports gasoline to satisfy domestic demand, but sells the fuel at a loss due to government price controls intended to temper inflation. Increased ethanol output would help lower gasoline imports and reduce pressure on Petrobras' bottom line. "Vale and Petrobras have been trading below book value and stocks are very cheap right now," said Leandro Silvestrini, an analyst with brokerage firm Intrader in Sao Paulo. "It's natural that we start to see a recovery in those shares. Especially after the Bovespa hit support levels near 52,300 last week." Petrochemicals producer Braskem rose 5 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts raised earnings estimates and the price target for the shares, citing the expected benefits from a reduction in sales taxes on key raw materials announced by the Brazilian government on Tuesday. In Mexico, the benchmark IPC index moved lower for the first session in four, losing 1.12 percent to trade at 42,628.99. Shares of Femsa, Latin America's biggest Coke bottler, fell 3.7 percent after the company said higher costs triggered a 7.7 percent drop in its first-quarter profit. Chile's blue-chip IPSA index was little changed at 4,307.93 as a gain in shares of regional energy group Endesa Chile of 0.8 percent helped offset a 1 percent decline in retailer Falabella. Latin America's key stock indexes at 1450 GMT: Stock indexes Daily YTD pct Latest pct change change MSCI Latam 3,737.68 0.09 -1.67 Brazil Bovespa 55,468.22 1.06 -9.00 Mexico IPC 42,628.99 -1.12 -2.46 Chile IPSA 4,307.93 -0.12 0.15 Chile IGPA 21,140.81 -0.06 0.33 Argentina MerVal 3,599.16 0.83 26.10 Colombia IGBC 13,455.08 0.42 -8.57 Peru IGRA 17,846.10 0.36 -13.49 Venezuela IBC 646,681.19 0 37.17
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