* Brazil Bovespa up 0.37 pct, Mexico IPC down 0.48 pct
SAO PAULO, Jan 21 Brazilian stocks snapped a
three-day slump on Tuesday as bargain hunters picked up shares
of banks and oil producer Petrobras.
Mexico's IPC index fell for the third session in
four, while Chile's bourse edged higher.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index climbed 0.37
percent to 48,888.95, a day after closing at its lowest level in
over five months.
Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Brazil's largest
non-government bank, rose 2 percent, contributing most to the
index's gains, while rival Banco Bradesco SA advanced
Consumer delinquencies in Brazil fell in 2013 for the first
time in 14 years, research firm Serasa Experian said on Tuesday.
The numbers could at first glance spell a brighter outlook for
private-sector lenders, which have seen quarterly profit recover
recently thanks to prudence in their credit disbursement
Shares of state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA
, known as Petrobras, advanced for the first session
in four, rising 1.65 percent.
"Petrobras is bouncing back with strength after recent
losses, but the stock is still dealing with the impact of
recommendations from JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs that investors
sell off emerging market assets," said Pablo Spyer, a director
with Mirae Securities in Sao Paulo.
Petrobras shares, which due to their high liquidity tend to
attract foreign investors looking for exposure to Brazil's
market, are down 15 percent over the past three months. Part of
that flight more than is due to the perception that developed
markets offer better investment prospects as Brazil deals with
higher interest rates, government meddling in the private sector
and lower expectations for economic growth.
Spyer, along with a number of local banks and brokers
including BB Investimentos and Grupo BTG Pactual, have remained
bullish on the local market, however.
"I think the pullback in Brazil stocks is basically over,"
he said. "Brazil is at a good price. Yes the government creates
some difficulties here, there have been a lot of interventions,
but it's all priced in now."
Mexico's IPC index erased the previous session's
gains, losing 0.48 percent to 41,774.74.
Heavily weighted telecommunications firm America Movil
, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, dropped 1
percent, while cement manufacturer Cemex advanced
Chile's IPSA index posted a 0.22 percent gain, led
by a 0.9 percent rise in Banco de Chile and a 0.7
percent gain in regional energy group Enersis
Latin America's key stock indexes at 1553 GMT:
Stock indexes Latest daily % YTD %
MSCI LatAm 3,034.86 -0.64 -4.58
Brazil Bovespa 48,888.95 0.37 -5.08
Mexico IPC 41,774.74 -0.48 -2.23
Chile IPSA 3,694.84 0.22 -0.12
Chile IGPA 18,237.35 0.3 0.06
Argentina MerVal 5,875.80 -0.73 8.99
Colombia IGBC 12,559.48 0.13 -3.92
Peru IGRA 16,586.61 0.31 5.29
Venezuela IBC 2,811.69 0.75 -99.90