EMERGING MARKETS-Homebuilders weigh on Brazil stocks, offset utilities' gains
* Homebuilder shares drop on profit-taking * Eletrobras, Cemig rise after encouraging 1st-qtr results * Brazil Bovespa falls 0.4 pct, Mexico IPC down 0.19 pct By Asher Levine SAO PAULO, May 16 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks fell for the first session in three on Thursday as profit-taking in homebuilder stocks offset a rise in electric utilities. Retailer Falabella boosted Chile's bourse. Mexico's IPC index edged lower, weighed by drops in shares of cement manufacturer Cemex and mining firm Grupo Mexico. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index lost 0.4 percent to 54,718.99, as the first-quarter earnings reporting season came to a close late on Wednesday. Analysts said the index should remain volatile ahead of the expiration of options on shares, scheduled for Monday. Shares of state-led electric utility Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA, known as Eletrobras, spiked over 6 percent after the company reported a narrowed net loss of 36 million reais ($17.8 million) in the first quarter, compared with a 10.5 billion real loss in the fourth quarter. Rival firm Cia Energética de Minas Gerais SA, known as Cemig, rose 1 percent after first quarter profit beat expectations. Profit-taking in homebuilder stocks prevented the broader index from advancing, however, with shares of PDG Realty SA down 4.2 percent and rival Rossi Residencial SA falling 3.4 percent. Rossi shares had gained over 10 percent in the previous session, while PDG shares had risen 5.3 percent. PDG shares were also affected by their exclusion from the most recent MSCI Brazil stock index, announced late on Tuesday. Brazil's Bovespa is on track to post its fifth straight monthly loss in May as concerns over economic growth, regulatory risk and weak corporate earnings sap investor confidence. "Earnings have been the big driver recently but we are now past that, so people are going to be more focused on macroeconomic data," said Larissa Gatti, an economist with Corretora Souza Barros in Sao Paulo. "There is a crisis of confidence in the government ... nothing has happened to give more certainty to investors." Mexico's IPC index fell for the second straight session, losing 0.19 percent to 41,823.67. Shares of cement manufacturer Cemex dropped 0.9 percent, contributing most to the index's loss, while mining firm Grupo Mexico lost 0.6 percent. Chile's IPSA index posted its biggest intraday rise in over a week, adding 0.27 percent to 4,298.10. Shares of retailer Falabella gained for the second straight session, rising 2.6 percent and contributing most to the IPSA's rise. The company reported a jump in first quarter profit earlier after market close on Tuesday. Latin America's key stock indexes at 1413 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI LatAm 3,703.18 -0.32 -2.18 Brazil Bovespa 54,718.99 -0.4 -10.23 Mexico IPC 41,823.67 -0.19 -4.31 Chile IPSA 4,298.10 0.27 -0.08 Chile IGPA 21,068.75 0.24 -0.01 Argentina MerVal 3,792.45 1.92 32.87 Colombia IGBC 13,300.82 0.26 -9.62 Peru IGRA 17,117.72 -0.07 -17.02 Venezuela IBC 738,873.06 0 56.73
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