* OGX sells stake in oil blocks to Petronas
* Brazil Bovespa falls 0.83 pct; Mexico IPC down 0.72 pct
By Asher Levine
SAO PAULO, May 8 Brazilian and Mexican stocks
fell on Wednesday as shares of Brazilian oil producer OGX were
down sharply after its announcement with Malaysia's Petronas
failed to calm investor concerns.
Stocks rose early in the session as encouraging trade data
from China, Brazil's biggest trading partner and a key purchaser
of Latin American raw materials, boosted commodities exporters.
The Bovespa reversed gains in the afternoon,
however, closing down 0.83 percent at 55,804.80 points. Mexico's
IPC dropped 0.72 percent to 42,102.14 points.
"The turnaround today is basically the same thing we've been
seeing for a while, which is the lack of long-term strength in
the local market," said Pedro Galdi, an analyst with SLW
Corretora in Sao Paulo. He also cited profit-taking following
recent gains in the Bovespa.
The shares of OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA
, controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista,
rose sharply after Malaysian state oil company Petronas agreed
to pay $850 million for a stake in two of its offshore blocks.
But the shares ended the day down 9.74 percent, with traders
expressing concerns that, despite the short-term relief, the
deal did little to improve the company's long-term outlook.
OGX shares have plunged nearly 60 percent this year on
concerns over missed production targets and dwindling funds.
In Mexico, shares of bottling group Femsa fell
2.01 percent, contributing most to the index's decline, while
retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico slipped 1.93 percent.
A few minutes before the Mexican market closed, Fitch
upgraded Mexico's sovereign foreign currency credit rating by
one notch to BBB-plus, praising the country's economic
fundamentals and the new government's reform program.
Chile's IPSA index rose for the fifth session in
six, adding 0.35 percent to 4,356.17, as shares of retailer
Cencosud advanced 1.48 percent.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 2142 GMT:
Stock indexes % change
MSCI LatAm 3,797.59 0.01
Brazil Bovespa 55,804.80 -0.83
Mexico IPC 42,102.14 -0.72
Chile IPSA 4,356.17 0.35
Chile IGPA 21,290.91 0.32
Argentina MerVal 4,038.23 -0.69
Colombia IGBC 13,270.41 -0.80
Peru IGRA 17,575.32 0.96
Venezuela IBC 682,645.44 0.16