EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks floored by tepid U.S. growth data

Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:09pm EDT

* Weaker-than-hoped U.S. growth provides bearish tone
    * Shares of key Mexico homebuilders plunge

    By Peter Murphy
    BRASILIA, April 26 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks tumbled
on Friday after the United States reported disappointing
economic growth for the first three months of the year, fueling
concerns about the global economy.
    Mexico's IPC stock index fell 1.53 percent to
41,897.00, falling below its 200-day simple moving average, and
raising the possibility of bargain hunting when the market
re-opens on Monday. Alternatively, it could herald further steep
losses ahead. 
    Brazil's Bovespa index slid 1.29 percent after the
U.S. Commerce Department reported the country's economy expanded
at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter, less than the
3.0 percent expected by economists.
    "Today's main indicator was the U.S. GDP. It turned out good
but below the expectations of the market, which were perhaps too
optimistic," said Joao Pedro Brugger, equities analyst at Leme
Investimentos in Florianopolis, Brazil. 
    Mexican homebuilders sank after Geo, the country's
largest homebuilder, said it will not meet interest payments on
certain local debt due on Friday. 
    Geo on Thursday reported a first-quarter loss due to a fall
in house sales and rising financing costs. Also on Thursday,
rival Homex posted a sharp fall in first-quarter
profit.
    Shares in Geo fell 28.29 percent, while Homex was down 26.42
percent. 
    In Brazil, iron-ore miner Vale, which is heavily
weighted on the Bovespa, fell 2.67 percent a day after shares
jumped following the company's stronger-than-forecast
first-quarter earnings. 
    Steelmaker Usiminas fell 5.27 percent after
posting its fifth consecutive quarterly loss, which revealed
rising expenses and lagging revenue. 
    Chile's IPSA index fell 0.70 percent, as a 1.95
percent fall in shares of retailer Falabella weighed. 
        
    Latin America's key stock indexes at 2053 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                                  % change
                           Latest            
                                                        
 MSCI LatAm                     3,699.91           -1.15
                                             
 Brazil Bovespa                54,252.04           -1.29
                                             
 Mexico IPC                    41,897.00           -1.53
                                             
 Chile IPSA                     4,281.44            -0.7
                                             
 Chile IGPA                    21,042.43           -0.52
                                             
 Argentina MerVal               3,734.24            1.31
                                             
 Colombia IGBC                 13,428.86           -0.72
                                             
 Peru IGRA                     17,789.27           -2.01
                                             
 Venezuela IBC                651,402.19            0.16
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