Brazilian and Latin American markets reversed their recent positive course and succumbed to selling pressure.
Adding to the markets’ demise were rising crude oil prices, which surpassed US$ 55 a barrel, and a disappointing U.S. employment report.
Brazil and Argentina were most notably lower, while Mexico’s descent was more muted.
Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa Index declined 274.21 points, or 1.03%, while Mexico’s benchmark Bolsa Index receded 80.50 points, or 0.61%. Argentina’s Merval Index tumbled 25.05 points, or 1.64%.
In U.S. economic news, non-farm payrolls grew by 78,000 in May, the slowest pace in nearly two years and much lower than April’s growth of 274,000.
The unemployment rate declined to 5.1% in May from 5.2% the previous month. Economists had forecast a 185,000 increase in payrolls and a 5.2% unemployment rate.
Brazilian issues pulled back on profit-taking, following two consecutive-session rallies.
In domestic economic reports, the Fipe research institute’s consumer price index in Sao Paulo rose 0.35% in May, slowing from April’s 0.83% increase.
Fipe said that decelerating food and transport prices helped to ease consumer inflation last month.
Within the financial group, Unibanco, Brazil’s third-largest private bank, will pay 128.2 million reais to assume total control of Banco Dibens SA’s motor vehicle financing unit.
Unibanco already holds a 51% stake in Banco Dibens, and will issue 8.7 million of its own shares to Grupo Verde, which owns the remaining stake in the financing unit.
Elsewhere, late yesterday, state-run oil firm Petrobras said that its average daily domestic oil output leapt to 1.729 million barrels in May from 1.704 million b/d in April.
The firm said greater efficiency at offshore oil platforms and a continued recovery in mature oil fields led to May’s robust results.
Within the airline group, Brazil’s civil aviation department, or DAC, reported that TAM’s market share grew to 43.2% in May from 41.8% in April.
Gol maintained the No. 2 spot, although its market share slipped slightly to 27.6%. Varig’s market share of 26.9% also slipped from April.
Mexican issues suffered on weaker U.S. market sentiment, which stemmed from the disappointing employment report.
In corporate news, Raul Monteforte, a commissioner at Mexico’s Energy Regulating Commission, commented to Dow Jones Newswires that after the elections next year, exploration and production in the oil and gas sector may be opened up to private firms, thereby loosening the grip of state-oil firm Pemex.
Elsewhere, Cemex announced that it issued 66.7 million new CPO shares today, as more than 92% of shareholders opted to take dividends in the form of stocks rather than cash. A CPO combines two A class shares and one B class share.
Argentine shares took part in the broader declines across Latin America. Profit-taking ensued, following a run-up in share prices ahead of the government’s finalization of the country’s debt restructuring.
Topping headlines, Indec, the national statistics agency, said that its consumer price index advanced 0.6% in May from April. On an annualized basis, the CPI is up 8.6% from a year ago. May’s monthly reading was slightly above analyst expectations.
Meanwhile, Adefa, the national carmakers’ association, said that car production declined 3.3% in May from April, but surged 24% from the corresponding period a year ago. Strikes at three key automakers hindered production last month.
Thomson Financial Corporate Group – www.thomsonfinancial.com
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