EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks on track for best week in months

* U.S. GDP data buoys investor risk appetite

* Chile stocks on track for best week in 22 months

* Brazil’s Bovespa up 0.93 pct, Mexico’s IPC up 0.02 pct

By Silvio Cascione

SAO PAULO, March 25 (Reuters) – Latin American stocks were
on track to post their best week in months on Friday as strong
U.S. economic growth data helped buoy investor confidence in
riskier assets globally.

The MSCI Latin American stocks index (.MILA00000PUS: Quote, Profile, Research) added
0.53 percent in the early session, extending a recovery to a
possible seventh straight session.

If the gains hold, the index looked set to notch its best
week since the start of October as global investors returned to
riskier assets after a series of bad news in recent weeks,
including natural and nuclear crises in Japan and turmoil in
the oil-rich Middle East and North Africa.

“The day was already pointing to a higher opening. Abroad,
some technology companies revised their forecasts up, and this
gave a positive bias to the S&P (500 index),” said Luciano
Rostagno, chief strategist for CM Capital markets.

Then U.S. gross domestic product data came in above
expectations, as well, he added.

The U.S. economy — the world’s biggest and a major
influence on Latin America — grew more quickly than previously
estimated in the fourth quarter as businesses restocked shelves
to meet rising demand and maintained fairly solid spending.

“Recently the Bovespa index has been a little detached from
indexes abroad, but today it looks like we’re following along
with U.S. markets,” Rostagno said.

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index (.BVSP: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 0.93
percent and touched its highest level since late January.

“Corporate results in Brazil should affect the Bovespa
index today,” Banco Fator analysts wrote to clients.

Shares of Brasil Foods (BRFS3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.68 percent, after
the company reported a 16-fold increase in net income in the
fourth quarter of last year. [ID:nN24191263]

Oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) also advanced 0.88
percent, recovering its losses of the previous session.

Chile’s IPSA index (.IPSA: Quote, Profile, Research) seesawed but rose 0.17 percent
near mid-day, on course for its best week in 22 months.

The index turned negative during the early session, pulling
back from key resistance at its 200-day moving average. That
level touched off a 7.5 percent slide earlier this month.

The index had already gained 6.6 percent in the first four
days of the week.

Chilean fertilizer, lithium and iodine producer Soquimich
(SQM_pb.SN: Quote, Profile, Research) led gains with an advance of 1.26 percent.

Mexico’s IPC index (.MXX: Quote, Profile, Research) was nearly unchanged, adding 0.02

Conglomerate Alfa (ALFAA.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 2.55 percent.

(Additional reporting by Brad Haynes in Santiago; Writing
by Luciana Lopez and W Simon )

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks on track for best week in months