EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks flat as commods offset weak builders

Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:42pm EDT

* MMX rises after Tues selloff
    * Builders PDG, MRV weigh on Brazil's Bovespa
    * Bovespa, Mexico IPC little changed

    SAO PAULO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks were
little-changed on Wednesday as commodities exporters and
steelmakers extended a recent rally, offsetting a decline in
homebuilders. 
    Mexico's IPC index also remained flat, while Chile's
bourse fell its most since late August.
    Commodities firms have helped Brazil's benchmark Bovespa
stock index reach its highest levels in over three
months in recent days, boosted by an improving outlook for
Chinese economic growth.
    "Data from China in recent weeks has been better than
expected, which means people see strong demand for iron-ore
ahead, which helps companies like Vale," said Joao Pedro
Brugger, an analyst with Leme Investimentos in Florianopolis,
Brazil. "Fewer people see a hard landing for China nowadays."
    Shares of Vale SA, the world's leading iron-ore
producer, gave up early gains to trade nearly flat, though rival
firm MMX Mineracao e Metalicos added 3.7 percent.
    MMX shares were also helped by bargain-hunting the day after
the stock plunged 17 percent.
    On Tuesday, the company said controlling shareholder Eike
Batista is in talks to cede control of MMX's iron ore port in
exchange for $400 million of new investment and debt relief,
which disappointed investors due to the resulting dilution in
the stock from the potential deal. 
    Steelmakers also supported the index, with shares of Usinas
Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA, known as Usiminas,
up 1.4 percent and Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA,
known as CSN, up 0.4 percent.
    Homebuilders weighed on the index, with traders citing an
increase in the yields on interest rate futures 
sparked by a weakening local currency, which could further
pressure inflation. A higher outlook for interest rates
typically drives homebuilder shares lower, since mortgages would
become more expensive, leading to declining home sales.
    Shares of builder PDG Realty SA lost 4 percent,
while rival MRV Engenharia SA dropped 2 percent.
    Mexico's IPC index was little changed as a 0.38
percent rise in telecommunications firm America Movil 
offset a 1.06 percent drop in lender Grupo Financiero Banorte
.
    Chile's IPSA index reversed a recent gaining streak,
falling 0.82 percent as shares of conglomerate Copec 
lost 2 percent.
    Shares of fertilizer, lithium and iodine producer Soquimich
 slipped 1.9 percent. Chilean securities regulator
SVS late on Tuesday accused Julio Ponce, SQM's chairman and late
dictator Augusto Pinochet's son-in-law, of buying up shares
below market prices and then reselling them at above-market
prices. 
    
    Latin America's key stock indexes at 1615 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                             daily %     YTD %
                               Latest       change    change
 MSCI LatAm                     3,310.96     -0.63    -12.26
                                                    
 Brazil Bovespa                54,008.64      0.05    -11.39
                                                    
 Mexico IPC                    41,753.53      0.05     -4.47
                                                    
 Chile IPSA                     3,861.62     -0.82    -10.22
                                                    
 Chile IGPA                    18,969.04     -0.67     -9.97
                                                    
 Argentina MerVal               4,468.15     -0.75     56.54
                                                    
 Colombia IGBC                 14,025.91     -0.04     -4.69
                                                    
 Peru IGRA                     17,034.37     -0.56    -17.43
                                                    
 Venezuela IBC               1,461,379.2      0.93    209.98
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