EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks rise as U.S., Europe fears ease

* MSCI Latin American stock index hits 1-week high

* U.S. data eases fears about sluggish recovery

* Bovespa up 1.34 pct, Mexico’s IPC adds 0.72 pct
(Updates to afternoon)

SAO PAULO/MEXICO CITY, Aug 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Latin American
stocks gained in afternoon trading on Tuesday as worries about
a sluggish U.S. economy and debt-hindered Europe eased.

The MSCI Latin American stock index (.MILA00000PUS: ) rose
1.68 percent for a fourth straight day of gains and hit a
one-week high.

The Thomson Reuters Latin America total return index
(.TRXFLDLATU: ) put on 0.83 percent.

Key U.S. indexes also rose, helped by solid profits from
bellwether retail companies Wal-Mart and Home Depot.
[ID:nN17140317]

U.S. industrial production grew at a surprisingly strong
rate of 1 percent in July, while producer prices rose for the
first time in four months last month. For details, see
[ID:nN17175177] and [ID:nN17122732]

The data and corporate earnings “brought some optimism to
the markets, and this in turn helped commodities,” said Luciano
Rostagno, chief strategist for CM Capital Markets in Sao
Paulo.

The Reuters-Jefferies commodities index (.CRB: ) rose in
afternoon trading. Much of Brazil’s Bovespa stock index is tied
to the trade in raw materials, and the index (.BVSP: ) put on
1.34 percent in the afternoon.

A stronger U.S. economy also bodes well for Mexico, which
sends about 80 percent of its exports to its northern neighbor.
Mexico’s IPC index (.MXX: ) put on 0.72 percent in the
afternoon.

Also easing investor nervousness, Irish and Spanish debt
auctions attracted strong demand on Tuesday and allayed
concerns about the pressure on funding costs for euro zone
countries saddled with high debt and poor growth.
[ID:nLDE67G0M1]

“Liquidity is improving in Europe, and this is positive,”
said Jaime Ascencio, an analyst at brokerage Actinver in
Queretaro, Mexico.

In Brazil, shares of state-controlled energy company
Petrobras (PETR4.SA: ) added 2.43 percent and led gains, helped
by an advance in petroleum prices (CLc1: ).

Petrobras said Tuesday its current leverage ratio will not
affect its credit ratings despite market concerns about the
company’s heavy borrowing. [ID:nN17127864]

Real estate developer PDG Realty (PDGR3.SA: ) rose 4.33
percent after reporting that quarterly profits beat
expectations.

The higher commodity prices also helped mining companies.
Brazil’s Vale (VALE5.SA: ), the world’s largest producer of iron
ore, put on 1.54 percent, while Mexican copper miner Grupo
Mexico (GMEXICOB.MX: ) added 2.51 percent.

Shares in broadcaster Televisa (TLVACPO.MX: ) moved up 0.72
percent after Mexican regulators approved the broadcaster’s
plan to enter the mobile phone market, promising more
competition with market leader America Movil (AMXL.MX: ), which
gained 0.79 percent. [ID:nN16272353]

Chile’s IPSA index (.IPSA: ) rose 0.69 percent, led by a 7.01
percent jump in fertilizer maker SQM.

SQM (SQM_pb.SN: ) rose after Potash Corp (POT.TO: )(POT.N: ), a
key shareholder, said its board had rejected an unsolicited $39
billion offer from miner BHP Billiton (BHP.AX: )(BLT.L: ).
[ID:nN17133127]

“SQM and all its stakeholders are surging, more than 6
percent. We’re seeing that Potash’s rejection of BHP’s offer
affirms the positive market expectations for the fertilizer
business,” said Marcelo Catalan, an analyst with the BCI
brokerage in Santiago.
(Reporting by Michael O’Boyle in Mexico City and Luciana
Lopez in Sao Paulo; Additional reporting by Molly Rosbach in
Santiago; editing by Todd Eastham)

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks rise as U.S., Europe fears ease