Brazilian Stocks Advance as Crude Rally Bolsters Petrobras

  • State-controlled producer also reports sale of gas pipeline
  • Steelmakers Gerdau, Usiminas among top performers on Ibovespa

The Ibovespa rose for a second day as raw-material producers including oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA followed gains in commodity prices.

Petrobras, as Petroleo Brasileiro is known, also completed negotiations to sell a natural gas distribution network as part of an aggressive divestment strategy to reduce debt. Steel companies Metalurgica Gerdau SA and Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA were among the best performers on the index. Homebuilder Gafisa SA also surged after Banco Santander SA started covering the stock with a buy recommendation.

The Ibovespa is the best performers among major equity benchmarks this year on speculation that a change in government will help pull Latin America’s biggest economy from its worst recession in a century. Oil rallied on Thursday after a report showed the biggest drop in 17 years in U.S. crude inventories. Foreign investors poured 640 million reais ($199 million) into Brazilian stocks this month through Sept. 5, which compares with an outflow of 2.25 billion reais in August, exchange data show.

“We’re seeing a strong flow to Brazilian stocks, and higher oil prices are also benefiting Petrobras,” Joao Pedro Brugger, an economist at Leme Investimentos in Florianopolis, Brazil, said in a phone interview.

The Ibovespa rose 0.2 percent to 60,231.66 at the close of trading in Sao Paulo after earlier falling as much as 0.6 percent. Petrobras added 1.7 percent. Metalurgica Gerdau gained 4.3 percent, and Usiminas, as Usinas Siderurgicas is known, climbed 3.6 percent. Gafisa jumped 8.3 percent, the best performer on the IBX index.

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