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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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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

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