* U.S. nonfarm payrolls rise 157,000 in January
* China manufacturing PMI shows mild expansion
* Brazil Bovespa gains 0.85 pct, Mexico IPC up 0.55 pct
By Asher Levine
SAO PAULO, Feb 1 Latin American stocks tracked
global markets higher on Friday after U.S. labor market data
suggested a recovery in the world's largest economy remains on
Widely-traded commodities firms drove Brazil's benchmark
Bovespa index to its biggest daily rise in over two
weeks, while mining firm Grupo Mexico contributed
to gains in Mexico's IPC index.
Shares rose on increased risk appetite after data on Friday
showed employment in the United States rose modestly in January,
while a purchasing managers' survey showed China's manufacturing
sector continued to expand.
"The data today shows the U.S. is recovering and China is
stabilizing, all of which is allowing people to breathe a bit
easier," said Andre Paes, a director at Infinity Asset
Management in Curitiba, Brazil.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rose for the
third session in four, adding 0.85 percent to 60,267.48.
Shares of widely-traded mining firm Vale SA rose
1.16 percent, contributing most to the index's gains.
The company said on Friday that the start of operations at a
new mine helped drive fourth-quarter production of iron ore
above the third quarter for the first time in nine years.
State-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA
, known as Petrobras, added 1.27 percent, rebounding
from a four-day, nearly 8 percent slide.
Petrobras shares dropped in previous sessions after the
company announced a fuel price rise that failed to ease investor
concerns about the health of the company's finances.
"Petrobras is up on bargain-hunting," Paes said. "No one
seriously expects the government to let the company fail."
Local stocks with high liquidity, such as Petrobras and
Vale, tend to attract foreign investors looking for exposure to
Latin American equities, with their performance often tracking
global risk appetite.
Mexico's IPC index rose 0.55 percent to 45,526.33,
though failed to recoup the previous session's losses.
Shares of copper miner and railroad operator Grupo Mexico
rose 1.67 percent, contributing most to the
index's gains, after the company reported a 15 percent jump in
fourth-quarter profit late Thursday.
Chile's IPSA index rose for the third straight
session, adding 0.45 percent to 4,572.77 as retailer Falabella
climbed 0.4 percent.
Shares of pension company AFP Provida, which are
not part of the IPSA index, fell 5.48 percent after MetLife Inc
, the biggest U.S. life insurer, said it agreed to buy
the company for about $2 billion, along with Spanish lender BBVA
. The price was below what many investors were
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1502 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI LatAm 3,961.45 0.6 3.69
Brazil Bovespa 60,267.48 0.85 -1.12
Mexico IPC 45,526.33 0.55 4.17
Chile IPSA 4,572.77 0.45 6.31
Chile IGPA 22,242.89 0.34 5.57
Argentina MerVal 3,507.84 1.31 22.90
Colombia IGBC 15,013.13 0.21 2.02
Peru IGRA 21,523.18 0.41 4.33
Venezuela IBC 537,501.56 8.64 14.01