* Vale, Petrobras lead Bovespa rally; longest since
* Coke bottler Femsa weighs on Mexico bourse
* Brazil's Bovespa adds 1.06 pct, Mexico's IPC down 1.12 pct
By Asher Levine
SAO PAULO, April 24 Brazilian stocks gained on
Wednesday as continued bargain-hunting fueled a rally in
blue-chip commodities producers, but Mexican stocks were at risk
of snapping a three-day gain after bottling group Femsa
posted weak first-quarter earnings.
Brazil's Bovespa stock index traded higher for the
fifth straight session, adding 1.06 percent to 55,468.22 points.
If the market closes in positive territory, it will be the
Bovespa's longest winning streak since mid-September 2012.
Shares of iron ore giant Vale SA advanced 1.95
percent, contributing most to the index's gains, with the miner
expected to present its first-quarter earnings results after
market close on Wednesday.
State-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA,
known as Petrobras, rose 1.6 percent, adding to the previous
session's gains after Brazil's government announced measures to
support the country's ethanol industry.
Petrobras currently imports gasoline to satisfy domestic
demand, but sells the fuel at a loss due to government price
controls intended to temper inflation. Increased ethanol output
would help lower gasoline imports and reduce pressure on
Petrobras' bottom line.
"Vale and Petrobras have been trading below book value and
stocks are very cheap right now," said Leandro Silvestrini, an
analyst with brokerage firm Intrader in Sao Paulo. "It's natural
that we start to see a recovery in those shares. Especially
after the Bovespa hit support levels near 52,300 last week."
Petrochemicals producer Braskem rose 5 percent
after Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts raised earnings
estimates and the price target for the shares, citing the
expected benefits from a reduction in sales taxes on key raw
materials announced by the Brazilian government on Tuesday.
In Mexico, the benchmark IPC index moved lower for
the first session in four, losing 1.12 percent to trade at
Shares of Femsa, Latin America's biggest Coke
bottler, fell 3.7 percent after the company said higher costs
triggered a 7.7 percent drop in its first-quarter profit.
Chile's blue-chip IPSA index was little changed at
4,307.93 as a gain in shares of regional energy group Endesa
Chile of 0.8 percent helped offset a 1 percent decline
in retailer Falabella.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1450 GMT:
Stock indexes Daily YTD pct
Latest pct change
MSCI Latam 3,737.68 0.09 -1.67
Brazil Bovespa 55,468.22 1.06 -9.00
Mexico IPC 42,628.99 -1.12 -2.46
Chile IPSA 4,307.93 -0.12 0.15
Chile IGPA 21,140.81 -0.06 0.33
Argentina MerVal 3,599.16 0.83 26.10
Colombia IGBC 13,455.08 0.42 -8.57
Peru IGRA 17,846.10 0.36 -13.49
Venezuela IBC 646,681.19 0 37.17