EMERGING MARKETS-Commodities shares, foreign investors boost Brazil's Bovespa
SAO PAULO, May 14 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks were mixed on Wednesday in the absence of major market drivers, though widely traded commodities shares favored by foreign investors helped Brazil's Bovespa index advance slightly. The MSCI Latin American stock index rose for the third straight day, adding 1 percent. Brazil's Bovespa erased the previous session's losses, rising 0.67 percent to 54,271 points. The index was bolstered by shares of iron-ore mining company Vale SA and state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA , both of which tend to be favored by foreigners due to their high liquidity. "The market is (between) resistance levels of 54,000 and 55,000 points," said Joao Pedro Brugger, an analyst at Leme Investimentos in Florianopolis, Brazil. "But the market is more optimistic, and we've seen foreign investors coming in." Brazilian equities have seen net foreign inflows of 7.5 billion reais ($3.4 billion) in the year through May 12, spurred by low share prices and rising expectations that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff could lose her re-election bid in October. Rousseff's administration has been criticized heavily as being hostile to investor interests, especially in relation to state-run companies. "We suspect that if polls continue to show a decline in (Rousseff's) popularity, inflows into Brazil's equity and debt markets will increase," Brown Brothers Harriman analysts led by Marc Chandler wrote on Wednesday. "Even though this is not our base case, the chances of a new government now seem far larger than what it was just a month ago." The Brazilian real strengthened 0.4 percent to 2.20 per dollar. Traders have pointed to what they see as an informal trading band between 2.2 and 2.25 reais being defended by the central bank through currency interventions. Elsewhere in Latin America, Mexico's IPC stock index edged lower, while Chile's IPSA stock index was nearly flat. The Mexican peso traded slightly stronger against the dollar, while Colombia's peso ended a three-day slide. "With further tightening likely and global investors searching for yield, Colombia will remain an attractive destination for inflows," Brown Brothers Harriman wrote. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1618 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1033.05 1.04 1.97 MSCI LatAm 3410.83 0.54 5.99 Brazil Bovespa 54271.22 0.67 5.37 Mexico IPC 42150.01 -0.21 -1.35 Chile IPSA 3953.16 -0.08 6.87 Chile IGPA 19327.88 -0.07 6.04 Argentina MerVal 6912.99 0.67 28.23 Colombia IGBC 13705.2 0.11 4.85 Peru IGRA 15810.1 -0.04 0.36 Venezuela IBC 2178.42 0.11 -20.40 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.2053 0.41 6.87 Mexico peso 12.8788 0.20 1.17 Chile peso 549.5 -0.16 -4.26 Colombia peso 1926.14 -0.15 0.30 Peru sol 2.783 -0.04 0.36 Argentina peso (interbank) 8.0300 -0.09 -19.15 Argentina peso (parallel) 10.71 0.93 -6.63 (Reporting by Asher Levine and Priscila Jordao; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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