EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks up on US housing, Europe calm

* Brazil’s Bovespa up 0.66 pct, IPC rises 1 pct

* Petrobras up after Brazil oil sector overhaul

By Caroline Stauffer and Luciana Lopez

MEXICO CITY/SAO PAULO, Dec 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Latin American
stocks rallied, with the Mexican bourse hitting a record high
on Thursday, spurred by stronger-than-expected U.S. housing
industry data and easing European debt concerns.

MSCI’s Latin American stock index (.MILA00000PUS: ) rose 1.24
percent to a 2-1/2 week high. Mexican stocks touched a new
record peak after data showed pending sales of existing U.S.
homes unexpectedly surged in October. [nN02213163]

The United States is Mexico’s main trading partner and
signs of stronger U.S. economy are generally helpful for
Mexican share prices.

The above-forecast U.S. housing data helped lift shares of
Cemex (CMXCPO.MX: ) (CX.N: ), the world’s No. 3 cement maker, which
led gains as it rose 3.22 percent. The IPC index (.MXX: ) traded
up 1 percent to 37,650.

Cemex’s top market is the United States. The American
Depositary Receipts for Cemex (CX.N: ) climbed 4.35 percent.

“The pending home sales data helped a lot, Cemex in
particular” said Juan Jose Resendiz, head of analysis at
brokerage Arka in Mexico City. “I believe we will continue to
see gains on the IPC, with the 38,000 level in sight.”

Numerous stocks in Mexico hit fresh all-time highs on
Thursday, including Monterrey-based conglomerate Alfa
(ALFAA.MX: ), Televisa (TLVACPO.MX: ), the world’s top
Spanish-language content producer, and miner Grupo Mexico
(GMEXICO.MX: ).

Homex (HOMEX.MX: ), one of Mexico’s leading homebuilders,
rose 1.2 percent. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services revised
its company outlook to stable from negative. [nSPW5WWnZm]

Earlier in the day, the European Central Bank resisted
pressure to announce a major bond-buying program to contain the
euro zone debt crisis, leading to some disappointment among
market participants who had bet on a larger relief measure.

“At first there was some concern, but the improvement in
European bonds shows the outlook is changing – the Euro came
back, and that helped commodity prices,” Resendiz said. “An
advance in commodities helps emerging market stocks.”

EURO FEARS CALM DOWN

ECB President President Jean-Claude Trichet said the bank
had decided to keep interest rates on hold and extended its
liquidity safety net for vulnerable euro zone banks, but made
no mention of increasing its government bond buying program.
[ID:nLDE6B11HI] [ID:nLDE6B023Z]

“There was a lot of noise this morning but in general the
Europe issue seems to have calmed down a bit,” said Andre
Perfeito, an economist at Gradual Investimentos in Sao Paulo.

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index (.BVSP: ) rose 0.66
percent. Nonvoting shares of miner Vale (VALE5.SA: ) led gains,
up 1.16 percent.

Nonvoting shares of state oil giant Petrobras (PETR4.SA: )
rose 1.23 percent. Brazil’s Congress on Wednesday approved a
legal overhaul of the country’s oil sector, clearing the way
for Brazil to expand development of vast offshore oil fields it
hopes will turn it into a global energy exporter. [nN01198381]

Chile’s bluechip IPSA index (.IPSA: ) rose 0.34 percent to
4,973, just below the psychological 5,000 level.
(Additional reporting by Samantha Pearson and Guillermo
Parra-Bernal in Sao Paulo and Daniel Bases in New York; Editing
by Andrew Hay)

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks up on US housing, Europe calm