Alexa

Latin American stocks rally

Latin American stocks rally

Latin American stock markets surged higher on Monday on signs that the U.S. economy is stabilizing and that Mexico's swine flu outbreak may be ebbing.
Mexico's benchmark IPC index rose 4.6 percent to 22,910 in midday trading and the Mexican peso strengthened against the U.S. dollar.
Mexican officials lowered their swine flu alert level in the capital on Monday and said they will allow cafes, museums and libraries to reopen this week, even as world health officials weighed raising their pandemic alert to the highest level.
In Brazil, the Ibovespa index jumped 5.2 percent to 49,761 in afternoon trading.
Higher commodity prices helped drive Brazilian equities higher, and market heavyweights led the way.
State-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA was up 8.3 percent on recent jumps in oil prices.
Shares of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce SA also rose on higher metal prices. The company is the world's largest producer of iron ore and it is benefiting from the belief that the global crisis is easing and demand for its ore will increase _ principally in China.
Together, Vale and Petrobras represent 30 percent of the Ibovespa index.
Argentina's Merval index rose 5.2 percent to 1,341, and Chile's Ipsa rose 2.4 percent in midday trading.