* U.S. posts encouraging durable goods, housing data
* Investors cautiously returning but Europe concerns linger
* Brazil Bovespa gains 0.96 pct, Mexico IPC up 0.74 pct
By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve
SAO PAULO, March 26 Latin American stocks rose
their most in nearly three weeks on Tuesday as encouraging U.S.
economic data and waning concerns surrounding Cyprus' banking
system bailout led investors back into riskier assets.
The MSCI Latin American stock index capped a
three-day slide, rising 1.19 percent to 3,768.92 and crossing
back above its 150-day simple moving average - a key technical
support level since early December.
Commodities exporters contributed most to a gain in Brazil's
Bovespa index, while bottling firm Femsa
boosted Mexico's IPC index.
Latin American stock markets had dropped nearly 5 percent
over the past two weeks as concerns over global economic growth
and uncertainty over the bailout of Cyprus' banking sector
weakened global demand for local equities.
Investors took a breather on Tuesday after data showed
demand for durable U.S. manufactured goods surged in February
while U.S. single-family home prices jumped in January,
suggesting a recovery in the world's largest economy is gaining
"The winds are still quite favorable for the United
States...so we are seeing this gaining reaction in the markets,
but it's still timid, as the global outlook still has a lot of
uncertainty due to Europe," said Daniel Cunha, an economist with
XP Investimentos in Sao Paulo.
Shares had suffered in the previous session on concerns that
Cyprus's bank bailout deal, which inflicts heavy losses on some
depositors, could become the template for future euro zone
"Uncertainty over Europe has been falling gradually, but we
still have very little visibility over the ramifications (of
Cyprus' bailout)," Cunha added.
Brazil's Bovespa stock index broke a five-day slide, rising
0.96 percent to 55,397.55.
Shares of the most widely-traded commodities firms, which
tend to attract foreign investors looking for exposure to Latin
American equities, contributed most to the index's rise.
Iron-ore mining giant Vale SA rose 1 percent.
Steelmaker Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA,
known as Usiminas, added 4 percent.
Shares of airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA
were little-changed after the company posted a
fourth-quarter loss late on Monday. The carrier said it expected
to report an operating profit for the first quarter of
Mexico's IPC index climbed its most in four sessions,
rising 0.74 percent to 43,218.64.
Shares of bottling group Femsa advanced 3 percent,
contributing most to the index's rise, while mining firm Grupo
Mexico added 1 percent.
Shares of telecommunications firm America Movil,
controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, moved 1.25 percent higher
on Tuesday. The shares have rallied back about 12 percent from a
roughly 4-year low hit on March 15 as investors bet a slump on
concerns about tougher regulation were overblown.
Chile's IPSA index rose its most in nearly a month,
with shares of retailer Falabella up 1.6 percent and
those of Banco de Chile gaining 1.7 percent.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1457 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI LatAm 3,768.92 1.19 -1.93
Brazil Bovespa 55,397.55 0.96 -9.11
Mexico IPC 43,218.64 0.74 -1.11
Chile IPSA 4,446.18 0.83 3.37
Chile IGPA 21,753.30 0.63 3.24
Argentina MerVal 3,397.76 -0.2 19.04
Colombia IGBC 14,013.51 0.21 -4.77
Peru IGRA 19,738.71 -0.03 -4.32
Venezuela IBC 624,226.06 0.02 32.41