Latin American markets had a robust session, with international investors continuing to boost the region, amid weakness in the U.S. High oil prices and jitters ahead of tomorrow’s Fed meeting plagued that market.
Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa Index jumped 260.19 points, or 0.87%, while Mexico’s benchmark Bolsa Index climbed 228.06 points, or 1.48%. Argentina’s Merval Index added 21.82 points, or 1.34%.
Brazilian shares powered ahead, building on recent gains. On the economic front, the trade surplus reached US$ 1.30 billion in the September 12-18 period, swelling the year-to-date surplus to US$ 31.03 billion. Exports totaled US$ 2.84 billion, while imports totaled US$ 1.54 billion.
Also, the central bank’s weekly survey of analysts found that expectations for 2005 inflation rose to 5.21% from the 5.20% seen last week, due to Petrobras’ recent decision to raise wholesale fuel prices. Investors also awaited minutes from the central bank’s last meeting, due out later this week.
In corporate news, Banco Itaú was in focus after announcing a nine-to-one stock split in order to boost liquidity in its shares.
In deals, steelmaker Gerdau agreed to pay US$ 40.5 million over three years to increase its stake in an Argentine rolling mill, Sipar, to 83.77%.
In research, an investment bank maintained its “buy” rating on supermarket chain CBD, citing the firm’s ability to benefit from falling interest rates.
Mexican issues, meanwhile, jumped, continuing a rally that started before the long weekend. Infrastructure company Ideal continued to lure buyers after its successful IPO last week.
In economic news released after the close, sales at supermarkets and department stores rose 7.9% in August from a year ago, although same-store sales eased 0.2%.
Also of note, homebuilder Sare Holding SA and Anida, the real estate unit of Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria agreed to cooperate on the building of apartment complexes in an investment worth about 600 million pesos.
In addition, financial group Banorte drew attention on news its shareholders would vote Oct. 6 on a possible dividend payment and capital increase.
Argentine stocks joined the rally party, following some profit-taking late last week after hitting record highs.
Thomson Financial Corporate Group – www.thomsonfinancial.com
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