EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks choppy as euro zone worries weigh

* Bovespa up 0.11 pct, Chile’s IPSA down 0.16 pct

* Brazil stock options expire on Monday

* Markets volatile as European uncertainty continues

By Luciana Lopez

SAO PAULO, Dec 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Latin American stocks saw
chopping trading early on Friday and were on track for a slight
dip for the week as uncertainty continued abroad and investors
positioned themselves ahead of stock option expiration in
Brazil next week.

The MSCI Latin American stocks index (.MILA00000PUS: ) edged
up 0.06 percent in the morning, but was still looking set to
notch losses of around 0.2 percent for the week — an
improvement from the drop earlier in the month.

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index (.BVSP: ) moved up
0.17 percent in the morning despite some earlier time in
negative territory, but was still looking to set to lose about
1.4 percent in the week. Stock options expire in Sao Paulo on
Monday, adding to volatility in trading.

Moody’s Investors Service slashed Ireland’s credit rating
by five notches on Friday and warned further downgrades could
follow, as European Union leaders agreed to create a permanent
financial safety net starting in 2013. For more see
[ID:nLDE6BF2A3].

“The discussion is now about this new tool in Europe,” said
Pedro Galdi, the chief analyst for SLW Corretora in Sao Paulo.
“Germany wants tough measures, and this could cause some
volatility in the markets.”

Still, he said, data on leading indicators due later in the
day from the United States could help turn markets more
optimistic if the world’s largest economy looks to be gaining
steam.

In Sao Paulo, shares of credit card processors fell. Shares
of Cielo (CIEL3.SA: ) gave up 2.43 percent as Redecard (RDCD3.SA: )
moved down 2.82 percent. Investors see increased competition in
the credit card sector in Brazil next year, despite growth
prospects, Galdi said.

Shares of mining company Vale (VALE5.SA: ) lost 0.26 percent,
possibly extending a losing streak to a fourth straight
session.

In contrast, shares of state-controlled energy company
Petrobras (PETR4.SA: ) moved up 0.8 percent. The company said on
Thursday that it found light oil in the Espirito Santo basin
off the coast of Brazil. [ID:nLDE6BG0M5]

“We still don’t yet know the recoverable volume but we can
conclude by the quality of the petroleum that this is a
positive discovery,” analysts from Ativa brokerage told
clients.

Chile’s IPSA index (.IPSA: ) slipped 0.16 percent, backing
away from the 5,000 level.

Leading losses were shares of industrial conglomerate Copec
(COP.SN: ), down 0.59 percent. Those shares have been largely
rangebound for the month.
(Editing by James Dalgleish)

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks choppy as euro zone worries weigh