EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks mostly flat, Gafisa rises
* Brazil Bovespa down 0.11 pct, Mexico IPC up 0.18 pct SAO PAULO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks were little changed on Monday, while shares of homebuilder Gafisa SA advanced after the company posted encouraging operational results. Mexico's IPC index rose slightly, while Chile's bourse ended a three-day rally. U.S. stock markets were closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which kept trading volumes light. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index was nearly unchanged from Friday's close, hovering near 49,160 points. Preferred shares of mining firm Vale SA slipped 0.4 percent, offsetting a 1.1 percent rise in exchange operator BM&F Bovespa SA. Shares of homebuilder Gafisa advanced 2.87 percent, their biggest rise in a week, after the company reported a better-than-expected increase in fourth-quarter project launches and sales late Friday. The Bovespa is down nearly 5 percent since the start of the year, with investors selling off shares of consumer-facing companies in expectation of higher benchmark interest rates and sluggish economic growth. Still, some analysts see opportunities for the Bovespa to find support from advances in markets abroad. "For 2014, Brazil will tend to benefit from growth in its two biggest trade partners, China and the U.S., as well as Europe's recovery from its 'rock bottom,'" wrote BB Investimentos analysts, led by Nataniel Cezimbra in a note to investors on Monday. The analysts were positive on nearly every sector of Brazil's stock market, but remained "neutral" on homebuilders and oil and gas companies. Mexico's IPC index rose for the first session in three, adding 0.18 percent. Shares of lender Grupo Financiero Banorte rose 0.9 percent, while bottling firm Femsa lost 0.54 percent. Chile's IPSA index fell its most in over a week as shares of energy group Endesa lost 1.1 percent, while retailer Falabella dropped 0.5 percent. Latin America's key stock indexes at 1523 GMT: Stock indexes Latest daily % YTD % change change MSCI LatAm 3,072.46 0.66 -4.64 Brazil Bovespa 49,128.48 -0.11 -4.62 Mexico IPC 41,984.94 0.18 -1.74 Chile IPSA 3,691.72 -0.34 -0.20 Chile IGPA 18,214.75 -0.29 -0.07 Argentina MerVal 5,896.82 0.64 9.38 Colombia IGBC 12,577.13 0.20 -3.78 Peru IGRA 16,486.44 0.13 4.65 Venezuela IBC 2,797.89 0.51 -99.90
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