Improving Attitude for Europe, Surprise U.S. Manufacturing Gains Boost Latin American Stocks

By Staff,

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Latin American markets are broadly higher today as concerns waned over Europe's ability to resolve its debt problems and the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded for the first time since May, supporting gains for mining and energy stocks on demand expectations.

In regional news, the leftist government of Hugo Chavez in the week heading up to presidential voting reportedly has turned to importing large quantities of gasoline and selling it at reduced prices following a series of refinery accidents earlier this year.

The state energy monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela SA has purchased at least 2.5 million barrels of fuel over the past month from companies operating around the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing an employee at a local shipping company who did not want to be identified because the firm receives contracts from PdVSA, as the Venezuelian state company is known.

Oil traders and ship brokers in recent weeks have seen several tankers carrying products like gasoline in the country, the newspaper reports.

Here's where the regional markets stand this afternoon:

- Ibovespa up 736.4 (+1.2%) to 59,912.24.

- IPC (Mexico City) up 378 (+0.9%) to 41,106.

- Santiago Index IPSA down 1.47 (+0.03%) to 4,228.

- Merval Buenos Aires up 16.69 (+0.68%) to 2,468.42.

In company news, Transocean ( RIG ) ADRs are about 4% at around $46.70 apiece after a Brazilian court on Sunday overturned an injunction threatening to halt off-shore drilling by rig operator, accepting arguments an injunction would have caused billions of dollars in lost revenue for the government and the state-led oil firm Petrobras ( PRB ).

Judge Felix Fischer, president of the STJ - Brazil's second-highest court - said in a court document seen by Reuters he would accept part of an appeal filed late last month by the oil regulators on behalf of PBR seeking to table the injunction.

Transocean currently has 10 rigs under contract for work in Brazil, with nine currently in country. RIG has been fighting with Brazilian prosecutors since last October over damage claims resulting from oil seeping from Chevron ( CVX ) offshore project with the government wanting RIG and CVX to each pay $20 billion in damages, using the injunctions as leverage to force compliance.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing Commodities
Referenced Stocks: CVX , PRB , RIG

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