* U.S. jobless claims fall to lowest in 5-1/2 years
* Weak corporate earnings weigh on Brazil's Bovespa
* Brazil Bovespa, Mexico's IPC little-changed
By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve
SAO PAULO, May 9 Brazilian stocks were choppy on
Thursday, as a string of weak corporate earnings results offset
encouraging labor market data in the United States.
Both Mexico's IPC index and Chile's bourse
Shares rose early after data showed U.S. jobless claims fell
to their lowest level in nearly 5-1/2 years last week,
supporting demand for the most widely-traded stocks.
Disappointing corporate earnings weighed on Brazil's
benchmark Bovespa stock index, however, which traded at
55,752.42 points, a 0.09 percent drop from the previous
The Bovespa has faced technical resistance near 56,800
points in recent sessions as a lack of long-term confidence in
the local market led investors to take advantage of short-term
"Markets abroad are at very high levels and that limits the
room we have for new advances," said Silvio Campos Neto, an
economist with Tendencias Consultoria in Sao Paulo. "We are in a
period of uncertainty, without big movements in the Bovespa in
State-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA,
known as Petrobras, rose 0.3 percent, while Itaú Unibanco
Holding SA, Brazil's largest non-government bank,
added 0.6 percent.
Local stocks with high liquidity, such as Petrobras and
Itau, tend to attract foreign investors looking for exposure to
Latin American equities, with their performance often tracking
global risk appetite.
Weak corporate results limited the Bovespa's gains, however.
Shares of Brazil's biggest electricity distributor
Eletropaulo Metropolitana Eletricidade de São Paulo SA
fell 1.55 percent after the company reported a slight
net loss in the first quarter.
Shares of homebuilder Brookfield Incorporacoes
fell 4.3 percent after the firm posted a surprise first-quarter
net loss on Wednesday, citing cost overruns that have plagued
its performance in recent years.
Mexico's IPC index was little-changed at 42,110.88
points as a 2.45 percent gain by food producer Grupo Bimbo
helped offset a 0.7 percent loss by telecoms firm
America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim.
Chile's IPSA index also traded nearly flat at
4,357.81 points, with a 0.3 percent gain by retailer Falabella
offsetting a 0.7 percent decline by supermarket group
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1417 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI LatAm 3,803.53 0.16 -0.01
Brazil Bovespa 55,752.42 -0.09 -8.53
Mexico IPC 42,110.88 0.02 -3.65
Chile IPSA 4,357.81 0.04 1.31
Chile IGPA 21,302.09 0.05 1.10
Argentina MerVal 4,013.42 -0.61 40.61
Colombia IGBC 13,294.74 0.18 -9.66
Peru IGRA 17,552.02 -0.13 -14.92
Venezuela IBC 682,645.44 0 44.80