* Euro zone PMIs disappoint
* U.S. unemployment data also fails to inspire
* Brazil Bovespa flat, Mexico IPC down 0.37 percent
By Danielle Assalve
SAO PAULO, Feb 21 Latin American stocks closed
slightly lower on Thursday after data raised concerns about the
economic recoveries in the euro zone and the United States.
Mexico's IPC index fell for the second straight
session, while industrial conglomerate Copec weighed on
Despite trading in the red for most of the day, Brazil's
benchmark Bovespa stock index ended flat, closing at
56,154.68. Shares of oil producer OGX rallied on
rumors of a possible stake sale to Malaysia's Petronas
, curtailing the session's losses.
OGX, owned by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, told
Reuters it does not comment on market chatter. OGX shares added
11.8 percent, their biggest one-day gain since July 2012.
Nonetheless, regional shares dropped on concern about global
economic growth after weaker-than-expected Purchasing Managers
Index (PMI) data on Thursday suggested the euro zone economy may
contract in the first quarter.
The data led to a sell-off of Latin America's most widely
traded commodities exporters, such as state-controlled oil
company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras,
which lost 1.7 percent.
A disappointing outlook for the United States economy added
to the negative tone after data showed the number of Americans
filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week and
consumer prices were flat in January.
Brazilian economic performance also worried investors.
"There are doubts about how companies act in a scenario of
lower growth and higher inflation," said Nastasya Romano, an
economist at the Omar Camargo brokerage.
Shares of Banco do Brasil SA rose 4.07 percent
after fourth-quarter profit beat analysts' expectations on
Shares of steelmaker Gerdau SA rose 2.8 percent
after the company cut its five-year investment plan by 17
percent on Thursday in the face of slumping profits.
Mexico's IPC index dropped 0.37 percent to 44,136.60
as shares of lender Grupo Financiero Banorte
slipped 0.87 percent.
Shares of retail giant Wal-Mart de Mexico fell
0.82 percent after the company reported weaker-than-expected
results after the market close on Wednesday.
Mexican retail sales eased more than expected in December,
the national statistics office said on Thursday, raising
concerns about internal demand.
Chile's IPSA index lost 0.52 percent to 4,519.20.
Industrial conglomerate Copec lost 1.56 percent,
contributing most to the index's decline, while retailer
Falabella added 0.76 percent.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 2154 GMT:
Stock indexes % change
MSCI LatAm 3,788.87 -1.16
Brazil Bovespa 56,154.68 -0.04
Mexico IPC 44,136.60 -0.37
Chile IPSA 4,519.20 -0.52
Chile IGPA 22,038.77 -0.46
Argentina MerVal 3,124.37 -4.41
Colombia IGBC 14,746.04 -0.46
Peru IGRA 20,663.40 -0.75
Venezuela IBC 617,583.81 0.01