Brazil’s Ibovespa Snaps Three-Day Drop as Petrobras Gains

The Ibovespa snapped a three-day decline as oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA rose on wagers its losses from gasoline sales will narrow.

The 3.3 percent advance in shares of Petrobras, as the state-controlled producer is known, contributed the most to the gauge’s gains today. For-profit college operator Gaec Anima Educacao SA jumped the most on record after agreeing to buy Universidade Sao Judas Tadeu for 320 million reais. The water utility known as Sabesp dropped as state regulators canceled a rate review.

The Ibovespa rose 1.4 percent to 51,867.29 at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, leaving the index up 1.5 percent this week. The real weakened 0.5 percent to 2.2183 per dollar at 5:32 p.m. Petrobras is gaining on speculation a plan to increase ethanol content in gasoline will reduce its losses, according to Pedro Galdi, the chief analyst at the brokerage firm SLW Corretora.

The news “makes investors more optimistic about earnings,” Galdi said in a phone interview from Sao Paulo. “If it happens, that means Petrobras would spend less to import fuel.”

Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry is seeking to raise the percentage of ethanol in gasoline to 27.5 percent from the current 25 percent, newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported yesterday, citing Agriculture Minister Neri Geller. His press office confirmed the minister’s comments in an e-mail to Bloomberg News.

Petrobras’s refining and distribution unit has posted $38 billion in losses since 2011 when it started subsidizing imported fuel.

Gaec Rallies

Gaec rallied 11 percent to 22.85 reais, its biggest jump since it started trading in October 2013. Cia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo, known as Sabesp, slumped 5.6 percent to 19.74 reais.

Brazil’s benchmark equity gauge entered a bear market March 14 after falling 20 percent from its October high through that day. The gauge has since gained 15 percent as state-owned companies including Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA rebounded.

Trading volume of stocks in Sao Paulo was 6.74 billion reais today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with a daily average of 6.61 billion reais this year, according to data from the exchange.

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