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Bovespa-Index Futures Fluctuate as Inflation Exceeds Estimates

Bovespa-index futures swung between gains and losses as Brazil’s inflation exceeded estimates in January, clouding the outlook for interest rates.

Steelmaker Cia. Gas distributor Cia. de Gas de Sao Paulo may be active after the investment bank Itau BBA cut its recommendation on the stock to the equivalent of sell from hold.

Bovespa-index futures fell less than 0.1 percent to 61,795 at 9:18 a.m. in Sao Paulo, after rising as much as 0.1 percent in earlier trading. The real was little changed at 2.0434 per dollar.

Consumer prices as measured by the IPCA-15 index rose 0.88% though mid-January, exceeding 0.82% median forecast of 38 economists, the national statistics agency said today.

The central bank board, led by Alexandre Tombini, kept the benchmark interest rate at 7.25 percent for a second straight meeting on Jan. 16, matching the forecast of all 56 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The best strategy is to keep monetary policy conditions unchanged for a “prolonged period,” policy makers said in a statement accompanying the unanimous decision.

The Bovespa entered a bull market on Jan. 3 after rising 21 percent from last year’s low on June 5 as stimulus from central banks around the world eased concern economic growth might miss expectations while borrowing costs at a record low in Brazil boosted equity demand. The index has since pared its advance to 18 percent.

Brazil’s benchmark equity gauge trades at 11.5 times analysts’ earnings estimates for the next four quarters, compared with 11 for MSCI’s measure of 21 developing nations’ equities, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Trading volume of stocks in Sao Paulo yesterday was 6.66 billion reais, compared with a daily average of 7.25 billion reais in 2012, according to data compiled by the exchange.

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