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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks slip on energy rationing concern
January 7, 2013 / 2:55 PM / 5 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks slip on energy rationing concern

* Brazil’s Rousseff calls emergency energy meeting - report

* Energy utilities weigh on Brazil’s Bovespa

* Bovespa falls 1.1 pct, Mexico IPC down 0.46 pct

By Asher Levine and Danielle Assalve

SAO PAULO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks dropped on Monday, with shares of electric utilities falling on concerns over energy rationing in Latin America’s largest economy.

Mexico’s IPC index snapped a three-day rally, while Chile’s bourse was little changed.

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index slipped for the second straight session, losing 1.1 percent to 62,832.28.

An index of energy utility shares fell their most in nearly four months, losing 3.6 percent after a local newspaper reported on Monday that President Dilma Rousseff called an emergency meeting with energy officials over potential shortages due to low water levels at hydroelectric dams.

Officials at the presidential office told Reuters that no meeting was scheduled.

Still, shares of state-controlled utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, known as Eletrobras, fell 3.92 percent, while those of rival Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais SA, known as Cemig, dropped nearly 5 percent.

“In truth, nothing is concrete yet, there are just speculations on the possible meeting and what measures can be taken,” said Anderson Luz, a managing partner with InTrader in Sao Paulo. “In the short-term it’s a negative impact on the shares, but we are not totally convinced that this is something to worry about yet.”

According to analysts at BTG Pactual Group, if Brazil steps up the use of thermal plants to supplement hydraulic energy sources, consumer and industrial rates could go up by as much as 14 percent.

Shares of steelmakers, which are major consumers of electrical power, dropped. Shares of Companhia Siderurgica Nacional fell 1.14 percent, while those of rival Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA, known as Usiminas, lost 2 percent.

Mexico’s IPC index fell 0.46 percent, its biggest drop in over a month, as profit-takers sold off shares following a three-day rally that saw the index rise 2 percent.

A technical indicator known as the relative strength index remained in “overbought” territory however, indicating stocks may be due to fall further in coming sessions.

Telecommunications firm America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, fell 0.9 percent, contributing most to the index’s loss, while broadcaster Grupo Televisa slipped 1 percent.

Chile’s IPSA index was little changed at 4399.36 points, as a 1.7 percent gain by electric utility AES Gener offset a 3.5 percent drop by lender CorpBanca.

Data on Monday showed economic activity in the world’s top copper producer rose faster than expected in November, though share gains were limited after Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said economic growth eased in December.

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