MEXICO CITY, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Mexico's IPC index rose on Thursday as Mexican bottling and retail firm Femsa reported soaring profit, while a weak showing from Brazil's miner Vale sent the Bovespa down amid mixed data from the United States.
Femsa on Thursday reported a 45 percent rise in its fourth-quarter profit, mostly due to higher gains from its stake in brewer Heineken, sending shares of the bottler up more than 2 percent and the IPC index up 0.40 percent to 43,980.28 points.
The Mexican index hovered around its highest level since early December, after data showed U.S. consumer prices fell 0.7 percent in January, the biggest drop since 2008. The figures could provide a cautious Federal Reserve with leeway to keep interest rates low for a bit longer.
Mexican markets have been hurt by expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin to raise interest rates this year, curbing demand for riskier, higher yielding emerging market assets.
Separate data showed U.S. weekly jobless claims climbed to 313,000 last week, although durable goods orders rose for last month.
Meanwhile, Brazil's Bovespa fell by 0.6 percent to 51,499.00 points, dragged down by a 3.7 percent fall in shares of Vale, hit by a drop iron ore prices as increased output from Australia coincided with slower growth in China, the largest market for the commodity.
The world's largest producer of the steel making ingredient posted full year net income of $657 million, missing analysts expectations of $2.5 billion.
Mexico's peso weakened 0.14 percent to 14.952 per dollar, while Brazil's real lost 0.50 percent to 2.881 against the greenback. (Reporting By Alexandra Alper; Editing by Diane Craft)