EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks up on U.S. jobs, technicals loom

* U.S. labor market gains buoy risk appetite

* Regional bourses hitting key resistance levels

* Brazil’s Bovespa up 0.46 pct, Mexico’s up 0.62 pct

By Luciana Lopez

SAO PAULO, March 30 (Reuters) – Latin American stocks
gained in early trading on Wednesday, buoyed by signs of a
strong U.S. labor market, but gains were held in check as local
indexes neared important resistance levels.

The MSCI Latin American stocks index (.MILA00000PUS: Quote, Profile, Research) rose
1.09 percent in early trading and touched its highest intraday
level in three weeks.

The U.S. labor market showed signs of further recovery in
March, as private employers added jobs and planned layoffs
fell, according to data released on Wednesday. [ID:nN30275708]

“The Bovespa is following markets abroad, where there’s
some more positive feeling,” said Newton Rosa, chief economist
for SulAmerica Investimentos in Sao Paulo. “The ADP (job
report) came in line with what markets were expecting. This
will also help the Bovespa maintain modest gains today.”

But, he noted, considerable uncertainty remains abroad on
the after-effects of Japanese nuclear and natural disasters as
well as violence in oil-rich parts of the world.

Brazil’s Bovespa stock index (.BVSP: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 0.46 percent to
67,725.63. Nevertheless, the Bovespa remained within its range
of the past six weeks, when it’s struggled to break above
resistance around 68,000 points.

Among stocks gaining in Sao Paulo were preferred (PETR4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research)
shares of energy giant Petrobras, which added 0.14 percent. The
company’s common stock (PETR3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) moved up 0.43 percent.

But preferred shares of mining giant Vale (VALE5.SA: Quote, Profile, Research)
weighed, dropping 0.59 percent. The company’s common stock
(VALE3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) shed 1.10 percent. Markets are rife with speculation
about the future of the company’s chief executive, Roger
Agnelli, in the face government pressure for his ouster.
[ID:nN30114271]

Mexico’s IPC index (.MXX: Quote, Profile, Research) is trading 0.60 percent higher at
37,019 points, around its 50-day simple moving average. The
index had been struggling to break through the 37,000 level
after a rally last week.

The index needs to break that level with volume to see more
gains, analysts said. Otherwise, the IPC may slump back into a
downtrend seen since January.

Among shares rising in Mexico City were shares of
telecommunications giant America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research), which added
0.71 percent. Shares of the country’s leading retailer, Walmex
(WALMEXV.MX: Quote, Profile, Research), rose 0.55 percent.

Chile’s IPSA index (.IPSA: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 0.54 percent, also trading
within the tight range of the past week. The index reached
4,582.58 points on Wednesday, struggling against resistance
near 4,600 points that has limited recent gains after its best
week in 22 months.

Shares of Chile’s leading electricity generator Endesa
(END.SN: Quote, Profile, Research) advanced 1.01 percent, as Banco Santander Chile
(STG.SN: Quote, Profile, Research) climbed 0.99 percent.

(Additional reporting by Michael O’Boyle in Mexico City and
Brad Haynes in Santiago; Editing by Andrew Hay)

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks up on U.S. jobs, technicals loom