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Bolsas lose their luster
March 11, 1999: 4:42 p.m. ET

Stocks in Brazil, Mexico turn red after surge, but Venezuela keeps 3.2% rise
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Profits seekers had their way with many Latin American bolsas, which turned tail Thursday, shedding up to 3 percent of early gains to close the day out in negative territory or nearly flat.
     Stocks in Venezuela, however, managed to preserve their 3.2 percent surge.
     Brazilian shares typified the trend. By midday, they had soared 3.1 percent as long-missing international investors began buying stocks again, their interest triggered by strong gains on the record-seeking Dow, traders said. But the renewed courtship could not carry the day.
     The Bovespa index finished down 80 points, or 0.82 percent, at 9,698.
     Brazil's currency, the real, also lost ground as the expiration of dollar-indexed domestic debt and rising demand for greenbacks led to a softer real for the first time in more than a week, traders said. The real weakened by 2.1 percent by the end of trade to 1.91 reals against the U.S. dollar.
     A strong rally in Mexican stocks first began to lose steam in late-morning action as profit seekers stepped in, traders said.
     The leading IPC index ended the day down 48.47 points, or 1.02 percent, at 4,679.80, after hitting a session high of 4874.
     Mexico's bourse is coming off a five-day rally in which it gained 14.6 percent, hitting a 10-month closing high of 4,728.27 on Wednesday.
     The strong gains were fueled by favorable economic indicators and an inflow of international investment chasing top stocks.
     In Venezuela, the IBC index enjoyed a rise of 121.03 points, or 3.15 percent, to end trade at 3,965.45. Stocks were driven by gains on Wall Street and hopes that further world oil production cuts could raise sagging prices for Venezuela's chief export, traders said.
     In related news Thursday, a top Venezuelan oil official told oil ministers meeting in the Netherlands any further oil output cuts should come from countries with larger production levels than those of Venezuela.
     Elsewhere in the region, the picture was mixed. Stocks in Argentina pared almost half their gains, but still ended the day in the black, with the Merval index up 1.79 percent at 410.81. Stocks in Peru also rose, closing up 0.59 percent at 1,464.78. But Chilean equities ended the day unchanged at 3,933.88, and shares on Colombia's IBB index fell 0.61 percent to 915.34. Back to top
     -- from staff and wire reports


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