Stocks rise in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile


MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexican stocks closed higher Thursday, rising for a second straight session on gains in blue chips. 

The IPC index of 35 leading stocks rose 1.1 percent or 141.27 points to 13,284.89. 

Volume was a solid 126.3 million shares worth 3.09 billion pesos. 

The local market maintained its momentum from Wednesday, when expectations of less stringent monetary tightening in the U.S. gave regional stocks and bonds a boost. 

BBVA Bancomer said in a report Thursday that the IPC's bounce off support around 13,000 points is "an excellent technical sign of upward strength'' in the IPC. 

Among the most active gainers, wireless phone company America Movil (L shares rose 0.8 percent to 31.44 pesos, cement giant Cemex CPO shares rose 1.9 percent to 85.95 pesos, and retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico V shares rose 3 percent to 43.68 pesos. 

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SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) - Brazil stocks extended this week's rally on Thursday as growing hopes that a monetary tightening cycle is ending lifted the blue-chip Ibovespa index 2.7 percent to its highest close in two months. 

The Ibovespa settled at 26,640 points, pushing above 26,000 points for the first time since mid-April. 

Stocks kicked off the rally early this week after first quarter growth came in slower than expected. Surprisingly, equities investors gave the news an upbeat reading, deciding the slower growth meant a recent string of interest rate hikes can finally come to an end.  

Shares extended the rally from Thursday's open, even as Wall Street got off to a weak start.  

When Wall Street turned higher late in the session, the local gains simply widened. 

Stocks raced higher across the board, and trading volumes surged above two billion reals, nearly doubling the volumes of some recent sessions. 

"The highlights today were the most liquid names,'' said Unibanco analyst Sergio Goldman in a report, pointing to oil giant Petrobras, power company Eletrobras, iron ore miner CVRD, and fixed-line telecom provider Telemar. 

Petrobras rose 0.6 percent to 104.19 reals, Eletrobras added 1.4 percent to end at 35.50 pesos, CVRD advanced 1.8 percent to 62.73 reals, and Telemar jumped 2.7 percent to 38.80 reals. 

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Argentine stocks climbed higher Thursday, as the long-awaited delivery of the new bonds for the country's US$103 billion debt restructuring brought investors back into the market. 

The benchmark Merval Index closed up 0.98 percent, or 15 points, at 1,531.17.  

The broader General Index rose 1 percent, or 654.17 points, to 63,581.61. Volume was a busy 119.5 million pesos. 

Turnover had already been rising this week in anticipation of the arrival of the fresh securities, but analysts said final confirmation from the government of the bonds' arrival encouraged previously cautious investors to re-enter the market. 

The new liquidity generated from the securities is expected to be a boon to all local markets. 

"There was a lot more activity in both stocks and bonds, and within that the banking sector is the most benefited,'' said Juan Jose Vasquez, an analyst at Bull Market Brokers. 

Vasquez said he believes the Merval will now push toward 1,620 points - the record level in peso terms that the index reached earlier this year. 

However, local stocks' ability to regain their all-time high will depend on U.S. markets and important domestic issues, such as October congressional elections and talks with the International Monetary Fund. 

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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Strong increases in fertilizer and specialty producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA and electricity sector shares lifted Chile's stock market to close past the 2,000-point psychological barrier Thursday. 

The 40-share, blue-chip Ipsa index closed 1 percent higher at 2,005.98, up from 1,985.33 Wednesday. 

While is the second highest close of the year, in numerical terms, historical comparisons are difficult to make as the Ipsa was relaunched at 1,000 points in January 2003. 

Previously, it was reset at 100 points at the start of each calendar year. Volume held fairly steady at 39.14 billion pesos. 

SQM's B-series and major local shareholders in SQM rose sharply Thursday after an investment bank raised its outlook for the company's year-end share price. 

Traders attributed the rise in share prices to Santander Investment's "strong buy'' recommendation for SQM, in which it raised its year-end target price for SQM American Depositary Receipts to US$100 per ADR from US$80.00. - AP 

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