* MMX posts Q4 loss, Vale falls after Monday's gain
* Brazil Bovespa fall 0.96 pct, Mexico IPC down 0.71 pct
By Asher Levine
SAO PAULO, March 19 Brazilian stocks fell on
Tuesday as shares of heavily-weighted mining firms MMX and Vale
dropped, while concerns over a sovereign default in Cyprus
continued to sap demand for riskier assets.
Mexico's IPC index fell for the second straight
session, while Chile's bourse snapped a six-day slide.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell for the
fifth session in six, losing 0.96 percent to 56,423.34.
The Bovespa had closed higher on Monday despite a widespread
decline in global markets caused by concern over a deal that
would force bank depositors in Cyprus to help fund the cost of
their country's bailout.
Some of those gains were due to last-minute jockeying ahead
of the expiration of options on shares, which pushed stocks such
as iron-ore mining giant Vale SA into positive
Vale realigned itself with the global risk-off attitude and
returned those gains on Tuesday, with the shares falling 3.3
percent and contributing most to the index's decline.
"You have to look at yesterday and today as one session
because of the expiration of options," said Hamilton Alves, a
senior analyst with BB Investimentos in Sao Paulo.
"The short-term expectation for Vale is bad because of the
uncertainty that surrounds it," he added, citing troubled
projects both at home and abroad and an unclear outlook for
iron-ore prices and Chinese economic growth.
Rival mining firm MMX Mineracao e Metalicos SA,
controlled by billionaire Eike Batista, fell 5.5 percent on
Tuesday after the company reported a fourth-quarter loss of
351.3 million reais ($177.4 million) on Monday.
While Brazil's stock market is among the world's worst
performers in recent months, it should make up ground in 2013 as
the threat of government intervention eases and the global
economy recovers, a Reuters poll found.
Mexico's IPC index reopened lower on Tuesday
following a market holiday on Monday, with shares down 0.71
percent to 42,301.80.
Retailer Grupo Chedraui fell 1.5 percent,
contributing most to the index's fall. Mining firm Grupo Mexico
slipped 2.3 percent.
Mexico's stocks are seen surpassing recent record highs this
year, according to a Reuters poll, on optimism about a raft of
economic reforms and a steady flood of international capital
from investors hungry for yields.
Chile's IPSA index rose 0.57 percent to 4,429.23 as shares
of retailer Falabella gained 1.4 percent.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1523 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI LatAm 3,789.44 -0.47 0.25
Brazil Bovespa 56,423.34 -0.96 -7.43
Mexico IPC 42,301.80 -0.71 -3.21
Chile IPSA 4,429.23 0.57 2.97
Chile IGPA 21,713.53 0.49 3.05
Argentina MerVal 3,415.43 -0.9 19.66
Colombia IGBC 14,079.48 -0.49 -4.32
Peru IGRA 20,125.07 -0.15 -2.44
Venezuela IBC 630,791.06 0.23 33.80