* China posts better than expected Q4 GDP data
* Banco do Brasil down on possible Votorantim buy
* Brazil Bovespa, Mexico IPC little-changed
By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve
SAO PAULO, Jan 18 Latin American stocks were
little-changed on Friday despite better-than-expected economic
growth data from China as banks in Brazil and Mexico limited
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index hovered
neared Thursday's closing level of 62,194 points following two
consecutive days of gains, while Mexico's IPC index
inched slightly higher.
Data on Friday showed China's economy grew slightly faster
than expected in the fourth quarter from a year earlier,
boosting shares of commodities producers.
"The data confirms that the economy was able to recover at
the end of the year and suggests that China has migrated to a
slower growth pace, but one that is still very positive," said
Silvio Campos, an economist with Tendencias Consultoria in Sao
China is Brazil's biggest trading partner and purchaser of
Latin American raw materials exports such as iron-ore, soy,
copper and petroleum.
Shares of state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA
, known as Petrobras, gained 0.50 percent on Brazil's
Bovespa index, while rival OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA
rose 0.2 percent.
Gains in the Bovespa were limited by shares of
state-controlled lender Banco do Brasil, which fell
2.3 percent after the company said in a securities filing on
Friday that it is considering boosting its stake in Banco
"It's a short-term reaction as the market prices in the
ultimate cost of this purchase to the bank and the effect on its
cash position," said Gillmor Monteiro, an investment manager
with Intrader in Sao Paulo.
Shares of meatpacker JBS SA added 1.5 percent
after analysts at BTG Pactual Group said the company's U.S. beef
operations could post better-than-expected profit margins after
agribusiness giant Cargill decided to idle one of its
beef processing plants.
Mexico's IPC index edged 0.07 percent higher as
shares of retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico rose 0.5
Gains were limited by shares of Grupo Financiero Banorte
, Mexico's fourth-largest bank, which lost 1.5
percent as profit-takers took advantage of a four-day, 5.27
percent rally in the shares this week. The company posted a 20
percent rise in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by
lower costs and an increase in funds under management.
Shares of bottling group Coca-Cola FEMSA SAB De CV
rose 1.6 percent after the company said on Thursday that it had
agreed to buy drink maker Grupo Yoli.
Chile's IPSA index rose for the third straight
session, adding 0.21 percent to 4,504.63, its highest level in
Shares of retailer Falabella climbed 0.34 percent,
while industrial conglomerate Copec rose 0.36 percent.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1436 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI LatAm 3,936.47 -0.09 3.74
Brazil Bovespa 62,194.71 0 2.04
Mexico IPC 44,972.89 0.07 2.90
Chile IPSA 4,504.63 0.21 4.73
Chile IGPA 21,919.58 0.14 4.03
Argentina MerVal 3,184.68 0.5 11.58
Colombia IGBC 14,707.11 -0.11 -0.06
Peru IGRA 21,779.12 0.08 5.57
Venezuela IBC 484,345.06 0 2.74