* Brazil retail sales data far better than expected in July
* Brazil exchange announces changes to benchmark index
* Brazil Ibovespa little-changed, Mexico IPC down 0.78 pct
SAO PAULO, Sept 12 Brazil's benchmark stock
index was little changed on Thursday as strong retail sales data
boosted stocks linked to domestic consumption, offsetting a
decline in the most widely-traded blue-chips.
Mexico's IPC index fell its most in over a week,
while Chile's bourse erased the previous session's
Data on Thursday showed sales volumes in Brazil rose a
seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent in July from June,
far exceeding forecasts, led by a boost in supermarket and
"(Today's session) is rather lukewarm, but the retail data,
which came in above expectations, particularly in the textile
and clothing sectors, have boosted some optimism for stocks in
the sector," said Gustavo Mendonca, an economist with Saga
Capital in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil's benchmark Ibovespa stock index was
little-changed from Wednesday's close, hovering near 53,526.10
Shares of clothing retailer Cia. Hering SA rose
2.8 percent, while rival Lojas Renner SA added 2
percent and health and beauty retailer Natura Cosmeticos SA
gained 2.3 percent.
Heavily-weighted commodities producers offset gains,
however, losing ground following a recent rally in the sector.
Preferred shares of state-run oil company Petroleo
Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, fell 1.6 percent.
Common shares of mining firm Vale SA dropped 0.6
Brazilian exchange operator BM&F Bovespa SA
announced changes to the Ibovespa index late Wednesday, the
first since 1968, in an effort to correct recent distortions and
better reflect the performance of local shares.
Under the new plan, which will be phased in early next year,
stocks will be weighted according a formula that takes into
account the market capitalization of free-floating shares, as
well as the liquidity of those shares.
Mexico's IPC index fell for the second straight
session, losing 0.8 percent.
Shares of telecommunications firm America Movil
dropped 1.2 percent, contributing most to the index's losses.
Dutch telecoms company KPN said on Thursday it was
in talks with America Movil, a major shareholder, over the
latter's planned offer to purchase the shares in KPN it does not
Chile's IPSA index dropped 0.63 percent after
meeting technical resistance near 3,900 points, a level the
index has struggled to remain above since early July.
Shares of retailer Falabella fell nearly 2 percent,
contributing most to the index's decline.
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1430 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI LatAm 3,302.16 -0 -13.05
Brazil Bovespa 53,552.00 -0.03 -12.14
Mexico IPC 41,307.51 -0.8 -5.49
Chile IPSA 3,878.69 -0.63 -9.83
Chile IGPA 19,034.61 -0.49 -9.66
Argentina MerVal 4,527.16 0.23 58.61
Colombia IGBC 14,043.87 -0.18 -4.57
Peru IGRA 16,863.80 -0.8 -18.25
Venezuela IBC 1,467,266. 0.48 211.23