Ibovespa Rises as Qualicorp Advances After Quarterly Earnings

The Ibovespa rose for a third straight day as health-insurance broker Qualicorp SA climbed the most since November after fourth-quarter earnings exceeded analysts’ estimates.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the government-controlled oil company, contributed the most to the gauge’s advance. Homebuilder Helbor Empreendimentos SA climbed after quarterly sales and profit beat forecasts. Ambev SA, a unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, dropped after Valor Economico reported Brazil may raise taxes on soft drinks and beer starting April 1.

The Ibovespa added 0.9 percent to 46,567.23 at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, with 46 stocks higher and 24 lower. The gauge pared an earlier advance of as much as 1.4 percent after the Federal Reserve said it will reduce its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion and look at a wide range of data in determining when to raise U.S. interest rates. The real fell 0.6 percent to 2.3489 per dollar at 5:29 p.m. local time after gaining as much as 0.4 percent.

“Consumption was still strong toward the end of 2013, which helps to explain why some companies are reporting good results,” Otavio Vieira, a partner at hedge fund Fides Asset Management, said by phone from Rio de Janeiro.

Qualicorp rose 4.1 percent to 21.20 reais. The Sao Paulo-based company posted adjusted net income of 70.6 million reais, above the 53.5 million-real average estimate among analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Thirty of the 52 companies on the Ibovespa that have already reported fourth-quarter earnings exceeded estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Petrobras, as Petroleo Brasileiro is known, rose 2.9 percent to 13.34 reais. Helbor added 1.5 percent to 6.78 reais.

China Concern

Ambev fell 0.1 percent to 16.77 reais. Brazil’s Finance Ministry plans to boost taxes on beverages as part of an effort to reduce its budget deficit, Valor reported, citing government officials it didn’t identify.

Brazil’s benchmark equity gauge fell earlier today as much as 0.5 percent as raw-material exporters followed commodities prices lower. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of 24 raw materials declined 0.1 percent after the collapse of a private developer in China spurred concern the industry may face defaults as economic growth slows.

“China has become an important trading partner for Brazil in the past few years, and any noise there affects the Brazilian market,” Luciano Rostagno, the chief strategist at Banco Mizuho do Brasil in Sao Paulo, said in a phone interview.

Steelmaker Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA dropped 1.6 percent to 9.65 reais in the worst performance on the MSCI Brazil/Materials Index.

The Ibovespa entered a bear market on March 14 after falling 20 percent from its October 2013 high through that day, with real-estate companies and retailers falling amid concern that an economic slowdown will spur a cut in Brazil’s credit rating.

Trading volume of stocks in Sao Paulo was 6.16 billion reais today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with a daily average of 6.34 billion reais this year, according to data from the exchange.

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