Latin American Markets Mostly Higher Today; Petrobras Surges After Raising Diesel Prices


Latin American markets are mostly higher in late trading, with Brazil's Ibovespa index rising about 12% after the country's state-owned energy company raised the wholesale price of diesel fuel by 5%, effective at midnight Tuesday.

However, Santiago is lower.

U.S.-listed shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA ( PBR ), also known as Petrobras, are up 12% to $16.25 each, climbing as high as $16.43. Other stocks contributing to the Ibovespa's advance include LLX Logistica SA (LLXL3.SA), controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, is up more than 8% in local trade, while shares of Latin America's fourth largest electricity supplier, Electrobras (ELET3.SA), are more than 5% higher.

Also helping Brazilian stocks today is speculation the country's central bank will keep interest rates at their all-time low following today's market close, although investors also will be looking for clues when the bank could raise borrowing costs to keep a lid on rising inflation.

Mexican stocks are narrowly higher today, boosted by a 9.7% gain for Grupo Casa Saba SAB de CV ( GCSAY ), a drug-store wholesaler. Real estate developer Desarrolladora Homex ( HXM ) is up about 7% and has hit new year highs.

Here's where the regional markets stand today:

- Ibovespa was up 896.69. Now up 1,165.3 (+2.1%) to 57,116.

- IPC (Mexico City) up 116 (+0.3%) to 44,129.4.

- Santiago Index IPSA down 51.14 (-1.1%) to 4,518.5.

- Merval Buenos Aires up 35.5 (+1.1%) to 3,228.7.

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

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

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: GCSAY , HXM , PBR

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