Brazilian stocks rose for a fifth week, the longest winning streak in 15 months, as steelmakers led gains by producers after a report showing employment increased more than forecast in the U.S. lifted commodities.
Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA, Brazil’s second-biggest steelmaker, advanced to a 12-week high and rival Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA climbed the most in two weeks as metals prices rose. Fibria Celulose SA, the world’s largest pulp producer, was the best performer on the benchmark Bovespa index. Localiza Rent a Car SA, Latin America’s biggest car-rental company, gained after saying its fourth-quarter profit rose 13 percent.
The Bovespa added 1 percent to 65,217.37 at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, extending this week’s advance to 3.7 percent. Fifty-three stocks advanced today, and 15 dropped. The real strengthened 0.1 percent to 1.7179 per U.S. dollar. The Bloomberg Base Metals 3-Month Price Commodity Index jumped 2.7 percent, while the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of 24 raw materials gained 1.2 percent.
Brazil’s benchmark equity gauge reversed an earlier decline after data from the Labor Department showed a 243,000 increase in payrolls in January in the U.S., Brazil’s second-biggest trading partner. That exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest since February 2009.
“We haven’t heard anything negative from Europe in the past few days and news from the U.S. is positive, so the market is getting more confident that the global economy may be in better shape than we thought,” Fausto Gouveia, who helps manage about 250 million reais ($145.5 million) at Legan Administracao de Recursos, said by phone from Sao Paulo. “That’s good for everybody, including Brazil.”
Localiza advanced 2.5 percent to 29.45 reais. The company said net income rose to 78.7 million reais in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. That compares with the median estimate of 73.7 million reais in a Bloomberg survey of six analysts.
Usiminas, as Usinas Siderurgicas is known, rose 2.5 percent to 12 reais. CSN, as Cia. Siderurgica is known, increased 2.6 percent to 18.65 reais.
Fibria jumped 4.5 percent to 15.18 reais. The pulp producer, which is selling assets to trim debt, said in a regulatory filing today it agreed to sell two farms in the south of Brazil for 14 million reais.
Gafisa SA, Brazil’s third-biggest homebuilder by revenue, fell 4.5 percent to 5.11 reais after surging 19 percent in the previous three sessions. The company said in a filing yesterday it’s studying an acquisition offer from billionaire investor Sam Zell and Brazilian private equity firm GP Investments Ltd.
The Bovespa has advanced 15 percent this year, after slumping 18 percent in 2011, buoyed by Brazil’s interest-rate cuts, signs of growth in the U.S. and renewed optimism Europe may be closer to solving its debt crisis. The gauge trades at 10 times analysts’ earnings estimates, in line with the ratio for MSCI Inc.’s measure of 21 developing nations’ equities, weekly data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Foreign investors poured 7.17 billion reais into Latin America’s largest equity market in January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They pulled 1.35 billion reais from the Bovespa in 2011.
Traders moved 7.91 billion reais in stocks in Sao Paulo today, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with a daily average of 6.17 billion reais this year through Jan. 30, according to data from the exchange.