January 3, 2013 / 3:55 PM / 5 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks mixed, fiscal cliff euphoria wanes

* Profit-taking weighs on Latam equities
    * Petrobras supports Brazil's Bovespa
    * Brazil Bovespa rises 0.36 pct, Mexico IPC down 0.15 pct

    By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve
    SAO PAULO, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks were
mixed on Thursday as investor euphoria over a U.S. budget deal
wore off.
    Shares of state-controlled oil firm Petrobras 
drove gains in Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index, while
profit-taking weighed on Mexico's IPC index.
    Investors took a breather on Thursday, a day after Latin
American stocks posted their biggest daily gain in five months.
    Stocks soared on Wednesday on the back of an agreement by
U.S. lawmakers to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" of
automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that threatened to throw
the U.S. economy into recession.
    "After a day of euphoria like yesterday, investors are
stopping to think," said Aloisio Villeth Lemos, an analyst with
Agora Corretora in Rio de Janeiro. "There are still things that
need to be straightened out in the U.S."
    While the fiscal cliff was avoided, analysts said investors
will remain cautious over the outlook for the world's largest
economy due to upcoming negotiations over debt limits and
spending cuts.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index edged higher, adding
0.36 percent to 62,775.80.
    A technical indicator known as the relative strength index
remained in "overbought" territory for a second straight day,
however, indicating any rally in the Bovespa may be short-lived.
    State-controlled oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known
as Petrobras, rose 1.8 percent, contributing most to the index's
gains. 
    Petrobras said on Thursday that it declared two offshore oil
prospects with an estimated 351 million barrels of oil and gas
to be commercially viable opening the door to new output.
 
    Net foreign inflows to the Bovespa picked up steam in
December, reaching 3.72 billion reais ($1.82 billion) compared
with 534 million reais in November. 
    "It's a question of price," said Carlos Manuel Pereira 
Sousa, a strategist with Lopes Filho e Associados in Rio de
Janeiro, who said poor performance in the Bovespa in previous
months attracted bargain-hunters seeking exposure to Brazilian
equities. 
    Mexico's IPC index fell its most in over a week,
losing 0.15 percent to 44,236.32 as profit-takers sold off the
most widely traded shares the day after the index posted its
biggest daily gain in over six months.
    Lender Grupo Financiero Banorte fell 1
percent, contributing most to the index's losses, while
telecommunications firm America Movil, controlled by
billionaire Carlos Slim, dropped 0.2 percent.
    Chile's IPSA index fell 0.16 percent to 4,342.13, as
lender Banco Santander Chile and industrial
conglomerate Copec fell 1.27 percent and 0.35 percent,
respectively. 

    Latin America's key stock indexes at 1457 GMT:
 Stock indexes                           daily %      YTD %
                          Latest          change     change
 MSCI LatAm                  3,896.41       0.13       2.47
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa             62,775.80       0.36       2.99
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                 44,236.32      -0.15       1.21
                                                  
 Chile IPSA                  4,342.13      -0.16       0.95
                                                  
 Chile IGPA                 21,221.86      -0.15       0.72
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal            2,973.59        0.7       4.18
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC              14,687.83      -0.19      15.97
                                                  
 Peru IGRA                  21,038.59       0.11       1.98
                                                  
 Venezuela IBC             471,444.53          0       0.00

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