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March 5, 1999: 5:07 p.m. ET

Brazil stocks dip and real soars as Mexico's bolsa leads region's gainers
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - With the exceptions of stocks in Brazil and Venezuela, most Latin American bolsas posted gains to end Friday on a high note.
     Among the positive factors influencing regional exchanges, a record-setting Dow spurred by a U.S. jobs report showing strong employment growth but no inflation provided inspiration for Latin investors, who saw the near-term possibility of a U.S. interest-rate hike greatly reduced.
     In Brazil, however, stocks curtailed their upward momentum set Thursday by growing investor confidence in the country's new Central Bank president, Arminio Fraga.
     On Friday, the Bovespa index shed 43 points, or 0.45 percent, to close at 9,465.
     Early in the day, traders had predicted the shine could be taken off Brazilian stocks in the shadow of a strengthening real currency, which closed 4 percent firmer against the U.S. dollar to end Friday at 1.99.
     Calm was restored to the otherwise volatile currency market in the past two days by Fraga's announced plan to use part of the next installment of a $41.5 billion loan coordinated by the International Monetary Fund to defend the real, and his decision to raise the Selic overnight rate to 45 percent from 39 percent in a bid to contain inflation and stabilize the real.
     Brazil and IMF officials have been discussing new targets for Latin America's biggest economy for several weeks after a devaluation scuppered the original terms of the rescue package.
     The IMF on Friday finished talks with Brazil on restarting the stalled lending program and the IMF expects to recommend on Monday that its board approve a new payment from the loan.
     Mexico's stock market surged up, thanks to strong gains by the Dow, optimism that U.S. exchange rates might not move up and recovery in the Brazilian real, dealers and analysts said.
     The leading IPC index of 35 major stocks rose 109.78 points, or 2.6 percent, to end the day at 4,327.80.
     Meanwhile, in Venezuela, stocks slipped 24.16 points, or 0.65 percent, to 3,705.91 as investors continued to focus on domestic economic and political concerns.
     Elsewhere in the region, the General Index in Peru closed up 1.5 percent at 1,449.43 on strength in the Dow and optimism about Brazil. Colombian shares in Bogota rose 0.78 percent to finish at 922.79 on the back of strength in the stock of leading cement maker Cemento Argos, which jumped 8.82 percent on hopes earthquake reconstruction efforts in the western city of Armenia will spark a turnaround in the depressed construction sector.
     Stocks in Chile rose 0.28 percent to close at 3,897.06, and Argentina's Merval index moved up 0.93 percent to 387.41. Back to top
     -- from staff and wire reports

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.