* China Mar manufacturing PMI misses extimates
* Steelmakers rise on CSN results
* Brazil Bovespa falls 0.72 pct, Mexico IPC up 0.3 pct
By Asher Levine
SAO PAULO, April 1 Brazilian stocks slipped on
Monday after weaker-than-expected factory activity data from
China spurred concerns of softer demand for the country's raw
Mexico's IPC index reached its highest level in three
weeks, while Chile's bourse edged lower.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index traded 0.72
percent lower on Monday following a market holiday on Friday.
Shares fell after China's official purchasing managers index
for March rose less than expected.
China is Brazil's biggest trading partner and a key consumer
of Latin American commodities exports such as iron ore, soy,
copper and petroleum. Shares of iron ore mining giant Vale SA
, which counts China as its biggest customer, fell 1.3
percent, contributing most to the Bovespa's drop.
"The effect of Chinese growth (on the Bovespa) is most
linked to Vale," said Alexandre Ghirghi, a partner with Metodo
Investimentos in Sao Paulo.
"We aren't going to see that 8 percent growth anymore, the
giant is beginning to slow and we need to adjust to the new
reality," Ghirghi said. He added that much of the Bovespa's
recent day-to-day performance was more linked to short-term
turnover and technical adjustments than macroeconomic news.
Steelmakers gained after Cia Siderurgica Nacional
, Brazil's second-largest producer of flat steel
products, posted better-than-expected fourth quarter profits on
Preferred shares of CSN, as the company is known, rose 3.1
percent. Those of rival Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA
, known as Usiminas, climbed 3 percent. CSN executives
said in a conference call on Monday that the company was
interested in maintaining its investment in Usiminas.
Shares of oil firm HRT Participações em Petroleo SA
soared 18 percent, their biggest one-day rise since
October, after the company said last week that it began an
offshore oil and gas drilling campaign in Namibia.
Brazil's Bovespa has posted three straight monthly declines
and is down more than 8 percent this year, with investors citing
increased policy risk due to heavy government meddling in the
private sector last year.
"The Bovespa has come unlinked from external markets,"
Ghirghi said. "We used to be the market darling three years ago
but government intervention has led investors to look for
returns in other places."
Mexico's IPC index reopened higher on Monday
following a market holiday on Thursday and Friday. The index
rose for the seventh straight session, adding 0.3 percent to
44,211.21, as shares of bottling group Femsa rose
Chile's IPSA index slipped 0.18 percent as shares of
conglomerate AntarChile fell 1 percent.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1455 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI LatAm 3,798.58 -0.46 0.48
Brazil Bovespa 55,943.54 -0.72 -8.22
Mexico IPC 44,211.21 0.3 1.16
Chile IPSA 4,423.96 -0.18 2.85
Chile IGPA 21,666.05 -0.15 2.83
Argentina MerVal 3,380.78 -1.06 18.45
Colombia IGBC 14,099.31 -0.25 -4.19
Peru IGRA 19,898.19 0.2 -3.54
Venezuela IBC 625,577.06 0.92 32.70