Hint of Scandal Involving Finance Minister Shakes Brazilian Market

    Latin American stocks turned mixed on the day, as Brazil moved lower, while Mexico and Argentina advanced. Mexico surged, as the country was strongly aided by benign U.S. inflation data. Argentina also received support from some upbeat domestic economic reports.

    Brazil’s Bovespa Index dipped 87.35 points, or 0.23%. Mexico’s benchmark Bolsa Index jumped 166.79 points, or 0.88%, while Argentina’s Merval Index surged 17.96 points, or 1.00%.

    Brazilian shares moved lower ahead of an options expiry this coming Monday. Political turmoil resurfaced in Brazil today. A witness testified before a Senate committee that Finance Minister Antonio Palocci visited a Brasí­lia house that has been linked to a kickback scheme.

    On the economic front, the National Confederation of Industries, or CNI, said that industrial capacity fell to 80.4% in January, compared with 82.7% in the corresponding period a year ago.

    December’s reading was 80.7%. Separately, minutes from the Brazilian Central Bank’s March meeting indicated a continued gradual decline in the country’s Selic base rate.

    Supermarket chain CBD said that its nominal same-store sales dipped 1.6% in February from a year ago, while same-store sales, when adjusted for inflation, dipped 0.4% in February from a year ago. Gross sales jumped 2.9% on the year last month to 1.259 billion reais. Net sales rose 3.8% to 1.057 billion reais.

    Meanwhile, the Brazilian Steel Institute said that domestic crude steel production slumped 17.7% in February from a year ago due to stoppages for maintenance and accidents.

    In Mexico, economic news on both sides of the border garnered attention. U.S. consumer prices were benign in February, reducing inflationary concerns. Also, the Philly Fed business activity index continued to expand last month.

    Domestic industrial production was bolstered by continued strength in the automotive and construction sectors. Industrial output rose 6% in January from a year ago, easily beating analyst expectations.

    Turning to corporate news stories, homebuilder Consorcio Ara increased its growth estimates for 2006. The firm sees home sales rising 20% this year, up from its prior estimate of 12%. That firm’s shares rose on the session.

    Elsewhere, state-oil firm Pemex said that its proven hydrocarbon reserves stood at 16.5 billion barrels of crude-oil-equivalent as of January 1, down from 17.6 billion barrels a year ago.

    Argentine issues continued to rally today, as most shares within the benchmark Merval Index saw gains. Economic reports were also in focus today.

    In economic news, the national statistics agency, or Indec, said that gross domestic product rose 2.1% in the fourth quarter of last year from the third quarter, while advancing 9.1% year-over-year. Separately, February manufacturing activity surged 8.6% on the year and 3.1% on the month.

    Banks were positive on the session. Banco Marcro Bansud advanced ahead of its listing in U.S. markets. The firm announced last night that the preferential subscription for its 75 million new Class B shares will begin March 22.

    Thomson Financial – www.thomsonfinancial.com

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    ILO Discusses in Brazil How to End Slave Work for 1.3 Million

    The International Labor Organization (ILO) calculates that there are 12.3 million people in the ...

    American Airlines

    An American Temptation: US$ 600 Round Trip from Anywhere in the US to Brazil

    US company American Airlines announced that it is offering a round-trip ticket to Brazil ...

    Brazil Starts Year with Bang Exporting Half a Billion Bucks a Day

    The international trade flow began the year at a rhythm similar to last year. ...

    Syria Moves to Get Closer Trade Relation with Brazil

    The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB) and the Syrian Federation of Chambers of ...

    We’re Sure Paying Attention to the U.S., Says Brazil’s Foreign Minister

    In a hearing before Brazil’s Foreign Relations and National Defense Commission, the Brazilian Minister ...

    Brazil Goes to US to Find Out If American Pilots Turned Off Transponder

    Since the accident with the Boeing 737 over the Brazilian Amazon, which killed all ...

    Flagstones by Brazilian Sistrel

    Brazilian Flagstone Maker Bets on the South of Brazil

    Brazilian company Sistrel, a maker of flagstones and prefabricated elements, has recently inaugurated a ...

    Brazil Asks WTO for Sanctions Against US Subsidies

    The Brazilian government sent a request, yesterday, July 5, to the World Trade Organization ...

    Brazil gas pipeline

    Brazil Starts US$ 133 Billion, Ten-Year Push in Search of Oil and Gas

    Energy corporations will invest US$ 133 billion in the next ten years looking for ...