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Bargain Hunters Descend Upon Brazil and Stocks Jump Up

Brazil and Latin America greatly improved Friday, October 21, as bargain hunters moved in. A rash of upbeat corporate reports also bolstered Brazil and Mexico. In the U.S., investors weighed a disappointing earnings release and outlook from Dow member Caterpillar with strong results from Google.

Brazil’s Bovespa Index rallied 831.71 points, or 2.93%. Mexico’s benchmark Bolsa Index jumped 82.26 points, or 0.56%, while Argentina’s Merval Index surged 20.42 points, or 1.30%.

Brazilian shares strongly recovered from yesterday’s deluge of losses. Bargain hunters were active, and investors ignored an economic indicator pointing toward higher inflation.

The Brazilian Census Bureau announced that the IPCA-15 rose 0.56% in the September 13 to October 11 period, up from 0.16% in the August 12 to September 12 period. The most recent advance was due to rising fuel prices.

In earnings reports, Brazilian phone firm Brasil Telecom posted a third-quarter net loss of 25.1 million reais, reversing a year-earlier net profit of 85.2 million reais in the corresponding period a year earlier. The most recent result was beneath the average analyst target. Still, net revenues climbed to 2.58 billion reais from 2.36 billion reais.

Meanwhile, paper and pulp producers suffered from the real’s appreciation against the greenback in the third quarter. Suzano’s quarterly profit fell to 153.2 million reais from 262.6 million reais last year. Revenues climbed to 756.3 million from 707.4 million reais.

Separately, Klabin said that its third-quarter net profit tumbled 52% to 64.7 million reais from 135.1 million reais a year ago. Net revenues fell to 650 million reais from 738 million reais, while EBITDA receded to 154 million reais from 282 million reais.

Elsewhere, state-controlled oil firm Petrobras said that it is considering reviving plans to construct a 5 billion reais pipeline to transport crude from the Campos Basin to Sao Paulo state refineries, according to news reports.

Also, the U.S. Department of Commerce eliminated an antidumping tariff brought against hot-rolled coils produced by CSN Steel.

Mexican stocks also shared in today’s regional recovery, thanks to a mix of bargain hunting and upbeat earnings and economic news. Also, Grupo Carso’s building unit Cicsa was active on its first day of trade.

On the economic front, the National Statistics Institute said that retail sales jumped 5.6% in August from a year ago, and climbed 0.63% from July on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Cement titan Cemex said that its third-quarter net profit nearly doubled to US$ 675 million from US$ 361 million a year ago. The most recent result was bolstered by higher sales from acquisitions and financial gains from its derivatives positions. Sales more than doubled to US$ 4.3 billion, while operating profit leapt 56% to US$ 771 million.

Argentina finally reversed three-straight session declines and turned positive ahead of this Sunday’s congressional elections. First Lady Cristina Kirchner is running for a Senate seat in Buenos Aires province, which could strengthen President Kirchner’s mandate.

Thomson Financial Corporate Group – www.thomsonfinancial.com

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