* Weaker-than-hoped U.S. growth provides bearish tone
* Shares of key Mexico homebuilders plunge
* Brazil commodities producers mixed
By Peter Murphy
BRASILIA, April 26 Latin American stocks fell on
Friday after the United States reported disappointing economic
growth for the first three months of the year, fueling concerns
about the global economy.
Mexico's IPC stock index fell 1.0 percent, while
Brazil's Bovespa index slid 1.3 percent after the U.S.
Commerce Department reported the country's economy expanded at a
2.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter, less than the 3.0
percent expected by economists.
"Today's main indicator was the U.S. GDP. It turned out good
but below the expectations of the market, which were perhaps too
optimistic," said Joao Pedro Brugger, equities analyst at Leme
Investimentos in Florianopolis, Brazil.
Mexican homebuilders sank after Geo, the country's
largest homebuilder, said it will not meet interest payments on
certain local debt due on Friday.
Geo on Thursday reported a first-quarter loss due to a fall
in house sales and rising financing costs. Also on Thursday,
rival Homex posted a sharp fall in first-quarter
Shares of both homebuilders sank around 20 percent.
In Brazil, iron-ore miner Vale, which is heavily
weighted on the Bovespa, fell 2.5 percent a day after shares
jumped following the company's stronger-than-forecast
Other large Brazilian commodities producers posted gains,
however, including state-run oil company Petrobras,
which rose 1.0 percent ahead of the release of first-quarter
earnings later in the day.
Iron ore miner MMX, part of the Brazilian EBX
conglomerate owned by billionaire Eike Batista, rose 3.7 percent
after the company announced 3.6 billion tonnes of audited
reserves at its mines on Friday.
OGX, another EBX group company, rose 5.4 percent. The shares
have seen extremely volatility in the last few weeks, diving
amid reports of disappointing crude output and surging again on
news of negotiations of stake sales to foreign companies.
Steelmaker Usiminas fell 2.5 percent after
posting its fifth consecutive quarterly loss, which revealed
rising expenses and lagging revenue.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1635 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI LatAm 3,701.60 -1.11 -1.44
Brazil Bovespa 54,252.12 -1.29 -10.99
Mexico IPC 42,107.25 -1.03 -3.66
Chile IPSA 4,295.60 -0.38 -0.13
Chile IGPA 21,091.73 -0.29 0.10
Argentina MerVal 3,716.24 0.83 30.20
Colombia IGBC 13,484.46 -0.31 -8.37
Peru IGRA 18,018.17 -0.75 -12.66
Venezuela IBC 651,402.19 0.16 38.17