Brazilian stocks reached record levels, despite the thin volume characteristic of the period between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Also, global oil prices plunged, as traders noted that winter supplies appear sufficient to meet demand and on forecasts of milder Northeast U.S. temperatures later this week.
Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa Index gained 58.74 points, or 0.23%. Brazilian issues strengthened to a record finish, amid the release of mild local inflation data.
The IPC-S consumer price index came in at 0.61%, at the bottom end of forecasts. Also, investors were encouraged by a surge in Brazil’s exports and the fall in world oil prices. Traders foresee thin volumes this week, with Brazil in a semi-holiday mood.
Brazilian markets are closed on Friday. Investors are awaiting tomorrow’s release of the Central Bank’s quarterly inflation report, which could provide clues regarding interest rate policy for the first few months of 2005.
Brazil’s weekly foreign trade surplus reached US$ 1.188 billion for the fourth week of December, putting the country’s 2004 trade surplus so far at over US$ 33 billion.
That indicates a record surplus for the calendar year, stemming from the performance of exporters in key areas such as paper, pulp and steel. Robust performance is expected to continue in 2005, aiding exporting firms.
Aircraft manufacturer Embraer said Friday it led a winning consortium in the acquisition of Portugal’s Indústria de Aeronáutica de Portugal S.A., or OGMA.
Embraer established a consortium with the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company to purchase OGMA, with Embraer holding a 99% stake in the company formed by the consortium and EADS holding 1%. The new firm formed by the consortium is known as Airholding SGPS S.A.
Also, steel maker Gerdau SA stated it has agreed to pay about US$ 130 million to buy shares in Colombian steel firms Diaco SA and Siderurgica del Pacifico SA.
In other deal news, Brazilian fixed line phone company Telesp announced that it has bought local phone services company Atrium Telecomunicações Limitada for 113.4 million reais.
Thomson Financial Corporate Group
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