Brazil Gets Boost After 4.5% Growth Forecast for 2006

The Brazilian market managed some gains after an initial drop, this Tuesday, July 11, following commuter train explosions in Mumbai, in which terrorism is suspected.

Latin American shares witnessed another mixed session, however, as Mexican shares continued their fall.

Brazil’s Bovespa Index leapt 412.92 points, or 1.14%. Mexico’s benchmark Bolsa fell 129.94 points, or 0.66%, while Argentina’s Merval Index jumped 17.07 points, or 1.00%.

Brazilian shares posted strong gains on the day, particularly due to some positive economic indications. Finance Minister Guido Mantega told journalists that the economy could grow by 4% to 4.5% in 2006, above analyst expectations for 3.6% growth as calculated in a Central Bank of Brazil survey.

In corporate reports, state-run oil firm Petrobras said that a consortium led by the firm found light oil in an ultra-deep exploration well in Brazil’s Santos Basin.

Petrobras is the lead operator of the well with a 65% stake. Separately, Petroquisa, the petrochemicals unit of Petrobras, will enter a US$ 320 million joint venture to produce raw materials for polyester used in the textile industry.

Mexican issues once again moved lower on profit-taking, following robust gains tallied last week on the presidential win of conservative Felipe Calderon. Investors are beginning to turn their attention from the tight race, which still leaves the door open for rival Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, to earnings season.

Homebuilder Geo expects to post second-quarter sales between 2.78 billion pesos and 2.8 billion pesos with an operating margin between 17% and 17.2%. The firm is set to release final results on July 24.

Argentina bounced higher following lackluster trading the Monday, July 10. Energy Secretary Daniel Cameron announced plans to raise the pump price for foreign registered vehicles in border areas on August 10.

Thomson Financial – www.thomsonfinancial.com

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