EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks track world markets higher, Fed eyed

Reuters

* Brazil Bovespa gains 0.76 pct, Mexico IPC up 0.73 pct SAO PAULO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks rose alongside global markets on Monday, boosted by stronger than expected economic activity data from the euro zone, though investors remained cautious ahead of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting later this week.

Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rose its most in seven sessions, while Mexico's IPC index snapped a two-session slump.

Markit's Flash Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers' Index rose more than expected in December, hitting its second-highest mark since mid-2011.

"We're following along with the markets abroad, which are having a positive day on a slightly better outlook," said Joao Pedro Brugger, an analyst with Leme Investimentos in Florianopolis, Brazil.

Still, trading volumes have remained low in Brazil's Bovespa as investors avoid taking big positions until the Fed decides on the future of its bond-buying program, which has helped support demand for local shares. The Fed's next policy-setting meeting takes place on Dec. 17 and 18.

The Bovespa rose 0.76 percent to 50,432.23, after having found support near 50,000 points over the previous three sessions.

Shares of state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA , known as Petrobras, rose 1.6 percent, contributing most to the index's gains, while steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA advanced 3.2 percent.

Shares of electric utility holding company Energias do Brasil SA sank 4.6 percent. Analysts said some investors had concerns over the profitability of a hydroelectric concession the company won at an auction on Friday.

Mexico's IPC index gained 0.73 percent to 42,189.62 as shares of telecommunications firm America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, advanced 1.7 percent.

Chile's IPSA index rose for the first session in four, adding 0.1 percent to 3,661.11.

Shares of retailer Cencosud gained 1.75 percent, while Banco Santander Chile climbed 0.8 percent.

Latin America's key stock indexes at 1612 GMT: Stock indexes Latest daily % YTD % change change MSCI LatAm 3,191.28 1.01 -16.81 Brazil Bovespa 50,432.23 0.76 -17.26 Mexico IPC 42,189.62 0.73 -3.47 Chile IPSA 3,661.11 0.1 -14.89 Chile IGPA 18,081.61 0.06 -14.18 Argentina MerVal 5,360.13 1.93 87.79 Colombia IGBC 13,186.74 -0.40 -10.39 Peru IGRA 15,441.70 1.16 -25.15 Venezuela IBC 2,654,762.7 0.25 463.12

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