Latin American Markets Mostly Lower Today; Brazil Riots, Global Worries Pressure Shares
Latin American markets are mostly lower late Friday, with the Ibovespa index tracking Brazilian stocks down over 1% and getting weaker amid rising violence in several cities. More than 1 million anti-government protestors took to the streets, battling police and damaging storefronts and government buildings.
President Dilma Rousseff reportedly was meeting with top Cabinet members today after previously doing little in direct response to the rioting, seen as the country's most severe demonstrations in decades.
Stocks also remain pressured by the global selloff undercutting equity and commodities prices since U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank could begin to ease back on its bond-buying stimulus by the end of the year if the U.S. economy continues to improve. Worries about a possible credit crisis in China - a key customer for raw goods from the region - also is pressing on Latin American equities.
Here's where the regional markets stand today:
- Ibovespa was down 622.87. Now down 780.8 (-1.6%) to 47,433.6.
- IPC (Mexico City) was up 280.27. Now 194 higher (+0.5%) to 37,711.6.
- Santiago Index IPSA was down 4.29. Now up 0.19 to 3,826.6
IN ADR news, U.S.-listed shares of Empresas ICA ( ICA ) are up about 2.7% today after the construction company and Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte ( OMAB ) last night announced an extension of lock-up period for shares offered in a recent secondary offering of 82.6 mln OMAB Class B shares now held by ICA's Aeroinvest subsidiary.
The offering began June 7, with Aeroinvest now agreeing to extend the lock-up period for the shares to a year, up from the original 90 days. The offered shares represent a 23.75% stake in OMAB, a Mexican airport operator.
ICA is retaining a significant controlling interest in OMAB through its ownership of OMA's Series BB shares. OMAB ADRs are down about 2.2% this afternoon.