UPDATE 1-Brazil markets cheer impeachment proceedings, but outcome uncertain

jueves 3 de diciembre de 2015 10:31 GYT

(Adds stock market opening, details, background)

SAO PAULO Dec 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian markets jumped on Thursday after the opening of impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff, but analysts warned that lengthy and unpredictable political wrangling could worsen a severe recession.

Lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha agreed late on Wednesday to start proceedings against Rousseff for allegedly flouting budgetary rules to help her reelection last year. The move added to political uncertainty as the Latin America's largest economy struggles with its deepest downturn in 25 years.

The real gained 1 percent, and the benchmark Bovespa stock index rose nearly 4 percent, led by surging shares of state-run companies. Oil company Petrobras and lender Banco do Brasil SA both jumped 7 percent, while power company Eletrobras rose 6 percent.

Earnings at those state enterprises have suffered from Rousseff's interventionist policies, and some investors expressed optimism that a harsh political reckoning would force her to shift her position.

Still, several analysts warned that contentious impeachment proceedings could paralyze Congress, distracting from efforts to address a growing budget deficit and deepening economic crisis.

"We have to remember the process is long and uncertain and it makes this embattled government even more fragile, pushing the country closer to losing its investment-grade rating from a second agency," said João Paulo de Gracia Correa, a trader at the SLW brokerage in Sao Paulo.

Standard & Poor's downgraded Brazil's credit rating to junk in September, and a similar move from another agency could trigger more capital outflows. Many institutional investors are required to unload bonds once two separate agencies rate them as speculative-grade.

Brazil's economic outlook has been clouded by the political crisis and the country's largest-ever corruption scandal, which center on a price-fixing and political kickback scheme at Petrobras. Rousseff's approval ratings have fallen to single digits.   Continuación...