Mexico Stocks, Peso Gain Slightly On US Optimism

MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones)--Mexican stocks opened modestly higher Thursday as stronger-than-expected economic data in the U.S., Mexico's main trade partner, lifted sentiment among investors.

-IPC stock index struggles to gain, up 20 points

--Positive economic data in the U.S. lifts sentiment

--Mexican peso strengthens against the dollar


The IPC index of 35 leading issues was up 0.06% at 37991 points around 9:30 a.m. EST on volume of 28 million shares valued at 717 million pesos ($56 million).

Among blue chips, cement company Cemex was down 0.4% to MXN10. Mining company Grupo Mexico was up 0.5% to MXN41 and Mexican telecommunications heavyweight America Movil shares were trading almost flat at MXN14.94.

Homebuilder Homex shares were off 1.2% to MXN41.2, leading losers, after Wednesday's strong gains on positive Mexican manufacturing data, while corn producer Gruma was up 1.6% to MXN31.8 after Standard&Poor' s rose its credit rating to BB from BB-.

Data in the U.S. kept fuelling hopes of a solid recovery in the world's largest economy. Initial jobless claims tumbled by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 351,000 in the week ending March 10, better-than-expected by economists, while New York manufacturing activity accelerated in March. Mexico sends almost 80% of its exports to the U.S.

"Local market is encouraging from a more encouraging situation in the U.S., and also positive bond sales in France and Spain," said Banorte-Ixe economist Alejandro Padilla.

The Mexican peso was stronger at MXN12.6780 to the U.S. dollar, according to Infosel, compared with MXN12.7210 at the previous close.

On Friday, all the attention will be on the Bank of Mexico monetary-policy announcement. The Mexican central bank is unanimously expected to stay on hold for a 25th consecutive meeting and leave interest rates unchanged Friday, as growth prospects remain steady and inflation is relatively under control.

Posted in Politic / Economic issues