November 6, 2012 / 2:35 PM / 5 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks choppy ahead of U.S. elections

* U.S. voters go to the polls, Romney and Obama deadlocked

* Volume low as investors await a winner

* Brazil Bovespa gains 0.2 percent, Chile IPSA flat

By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve

SAO PAULO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks were mixed on Tuesday with investors wary of taking positions before the too-close-to-call U.S. presidential election is decided.

The MSCI Latin American stock index rose for the third session in four, adding 0.12 percent to 3,687.56.

Investors largely avoided the market on Tuesday, with volumes low and price swings muted as the U.S. election entered its home stretch. Recent polls show President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney nearly deadlocked.

“The market doesn’t want to take any type of direction before we get the results of the U.S. election, and it’s worth remembering that it could take a few days,” said Henrique Kleine, chief analyst at Magliano Corretora in Sao Paulo.

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 0.2 percent to 58,327.92 in choppy trade as a technical momentum indicator known as the MACD posted a so-called “bullish cross,” suggesting the index could be about to start a new rally.

State-controlled oil company Petrobras rose 1 percent, contributing most to the index’s gains, while steelmaker Usiminas climbed 2.1 percent.

Shares of phone company Telefonica Brasil gained 1.65 percent after the company posted an unexpected rise in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA.

“Today’s session also has to do with corporate results,” said Bruno Piagentini, an analyst with brokerage Coinvalores in Sao Paulo. “Some companies are beating expectations but we are still at the beginning and we’ll see more this week and next, which should really shake the market around a bit.”

Units of Brazil’s largest independent investment bank BTG Pactual Group gained 0.13 percent ahead of reporting its third-quarter earnings Tuesday evening.

Profit at BTG was likely crimped by flagging revenue from advisory work and sales and trading, though the bank remained resilient to record-low interest rates and a weak economy, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

Chile’s IPSA index was little changed as gains in steel and iron ore producer Cap offset losses in shares of retailer Falabella.

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