Latin American markets are mixed in late trading Friday, with Brazil's Ibovespa Index falling nearly 1% today, snapping a three-day rally, while the primary market gauge for Mexican stocks is narrowly higher today after the country's central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time since 2009.
Banco de Mexico reduced its overnight lending rate by 50 basis points to a record-low 4.0%, a move forecast by seven of 25 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Most had expected the rate would stay on hold.
"This change recognizes the mid-term achievements in combating inflation and helps the economy adjust to a scenario of less economic growth and inflation," central bankers said in a statement accompanying this morning's decision.
Here's where the regional markets stand today:
- Ibovespa down 537 (-0.9%) to 58,309.8.
- IPC (Mexico City) up 12.5 (+0.03%) to 43,980.
- Santiago Index IPSA up 12.99 (+0.3%) to 4,508.70.
- Merval Buenos Aires down 13.5 (-0.4%) to 3,314.7.
Regional airline GOL Linhas ( GOL ) is one of the biggest drags on Brazilian stocks today, down 5% on the NYSE. Residential homebuilder Gafisa SA ( GFA ) also is down nearly 2% while mining giant Vale SA ( VALE ) is off more than 3%, following a report yesterday by Morgan Stanley concluding iron ore prices may have peaked as China slows it buying following a restocking spree.
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