State-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA declined as a person with direct knowledge of the matter said Finance Minister Guido Mantega turned down its most recent requests for fuel-price increases. Abril Educacao SA surged after controlling shareholders of the education group agreed to sell a 20 percent stake to Tarpon Gestora de Recursos SA.
The Ibovespa slipped 0.4 percent to 51,832.98 at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, with 37 stocks falling and 34 rising. Chinese stocks slumped on concern the country’s efforts to bolster growth will fail to counter a slumping property market. Investors also weighed U.S. data showing companies added fewer jobs than forecast in May while service industries expanded at the fastest pace in nine months.
“The latest data we’ve seen in major economies, such as the U.S. and China, have been a bit mixed, nothing really to support equities,” Luciano Rostagno, the chief strategist at Banco Mizuho do Brasil SA, said by phone from Sao Paulo.
Brazil’s benchmark equity index has dropped 4.1 percent since entering a bull market on May 7 as data showed sluggish growth in Latin America’s largest economy. First-quarter gross domestic product increased at half the pace of the previous three months, the national statistics agency said May 30.
Petrobras, as Petroleo Brasileiro is known, declined 1.8 percent to 16.60 reais. Mantega told Chief Executive Officer Maria das Gracas Foster in April and May that a weaker local currency had helped the company’s short-term finances when she requested price adjustments, according to a person who asked not to be identified because the discussion was private.
The Finance Ministry’s press office declined to comment on fuel-price negotiations with Petrobras. Petrobras didn’t respond to an e-mail and phone call requesting comment.
Natura Cosmeticos SA fell 2.6 percent to 38.53 reais, leading losses on the gauge.
Abril rallied 8.4 percent to 34.70 reais. Tarpon agreed to acquire the stake for as much as 676 million reais ($298 million), Abril said in a regulatory filing today. The per-unit sale price represents a premium of as much as 22 percent based on yesterday’s closing price.
Education companies listed in the benchmark Ibovespa were among the best performers on the Ibovespa today. Estacio Participacoes SA gained 3.5 percent to 27.85 reais, while Anhanguera Educacional Participacoes SA rose 2.8 percent to 16.91 reais. Kroton Educacional SA added 2.6 percent to 58.36 reais.
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