EMERGING MARKETS-Banks, retail lead Latam stocks, exporters dip

* Retailers, banks gain on local economy outlook

* Bovespa dips 0.24 pct, Mexico’s IPC down 0.53 pct

* Chile blue-chip stocks touch record high

MEXICO CITY/SAO PAULO, July 8 (BestGrowthStock) – Latin American
stocks rose on Thursday as investors bet on shares of companies
likely to most benefit from strong domestic growth, such as
retailers and banks.

The MSCI Latin American stocks index (.MILA00000PUS: ) rose
for the third straight session, adding 0.55 percent.

The benchmark Chilean blue-chip benchmark index hit a
record high, powered by retail and banking stocks.

However, shares export-oriented companies slid amid
concerns of a slowdown in the global economy, dragging down
Mexican and Brazilian benchmark indexes, although gains in
banking stocks in Brazil offset losses.

“There has been a tendency to seek out economic growth
through the sectors that benefit the most from internal
consumption,” said Eric Conrads, who manages $30 million in
Latin American stocks at hedge fund Armada Capital in Mexico
City.

Brazil is seen expanding around 7 percent this year while
both Chile’s and Mexico’s economies could grow as fast as 5
percent this year.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Brazil’s Treasury
Secretary Arno Augustin said the country’s economy may not grow
as much as some forecasts project. [ID:nSAQ002449]

Shares in Chilean retailer Falabella (FAL.SN: ) jumped 3.1
percent and hit its highest price ever, while Brazil’s Itau
Unibanco (ITUB4.SA: ) added 2.23 percent.

Offsetting a string of weak economic data from the United
States and China, the International Monetary Fund upgraded its
2010 global growth forecast on Thursday. However, the IMF
warned that financial volatility due to Europe’s debt crisis
could intensify and hurt growth. [ID:nTOE666034]

U.S. weekly jobless claims and June retail sales from major
stores were also better than expected, but investors remained
cautious.

BOVESPA, IPC SLIDE

Brazil’s Bovespa stock index (.BVSP: ) shed 0.24 percent,
while Chile’s IPSA (.IPSA: ) added 0.64 percent, pulling back
from the record high hit earlier in the session.

Mexico’s IPC index (.MXX: ) lost 0.53 percent, dragged down
by a 1.16 percent decline in leading retailer Wal-Mart de
Mexico (WALMEXV.MX: ) after the company reported
lower-than-expected same-store sales for June. [ID:nN07172575]

Wednesday’s data was not enough to offset concerns about
global growth as investors sent down shares like Brazil’s
Fibria Celulose (FIBR3.SA: ), the world’s No. 1 supplier of pulp
to paper makers, which lost 2.89 percent.

Shares in Mexico’s Cemex (CMXCPO.MX: ), the world’s No. 3
cement producer which is dependent on markets like the United
States and Spain, fell 0.81 percent.

Without any key economic data on the radar, Conrads said
markets could waffle until earnings season begins next week.

“If the earnings reports are good, current prices will look
very attractive, but if they are disappointing, it will give
more ammo to the bears,” Conrads said.
(Reporting by Michael O’Boyle in Mexico City and Guillermo
Parra-Bernal, Paula Arend Laier and Luciana Lopez in Sao Paulo;
Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio)

EMERGING MARKETS-Banks, retail lead Latam stocks, exporters dip