Latin American Markets Mostly Higher; Brazil Index Gains on Better-Than-Expected Inflation Data
Latin American markets are mostly higher in late Wednesday trade, with Brazil's Ibovespa index a standout having risen close to 2%, its fourth straight advance, supported by strong Chinese trade data and slower than expected domestic inflation figures last month.
ADRs of state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA ( PBR ), also known as Petrobras, was up the best part of 3%. But iron-ore miner Vale SA ( VALE ), which counts China as its biggest customer, has turned negative.
Brazilian inflation as measured by the benchmark IPCA index climbed 0.47% during March, trailing the median estimate of 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg looking for a 0.50% increase. The smaller-than-expected rise in prices could ease pressure on central bankers to raise interest rates next week despite inflation accelerating to a 6.59% pace during the 12 months through March, up from a 6.31% pace during February.
Here's where the regional markets stand today:
- Ibovespa was up 976.5 a short while ago. Now up 860 (+1.5%) to 56,771.9.
- IPC (Mexico City) up 426.07 (+1%) to 44,407.
- Santiago Index IPSA was up 14.65. Now up 11.7 (+0.3%) to 4,361.3.
- Merval Buenos Aires down 20.8 (-0.55%) to 3,455.53.
In regional news, shares of Barrick Gold ( ABX ) are down near 7%, still near its new 52-week low of $24.81 set earlier today after a court in Chile today suspended its Pascua Lama mine after indigenous communities complained that the project is threatening their water supply and polluting glaciers. The court in the northern city of Copiapo charged ABX with environmental irregularities during construction of the world's highest-altitude gold and silver mine.