Hypermarcas SA (HYPE3) rose to a two-month high, leading gains among Brazilian consumer stocks after slower-than-projected inflation fueled speculation that policy makers will maintain borrowing costs at record lows.
The maker of more than 190 products ranging from pharmaceuticals to diapers jumped 3.6 percent to 16.84 reais at 2:04 p.m. in Sao Paulo, the highest since Oct. 24. It was the steepest advance on the benchmark Bovespa index, which slid 0.5 percent.
The IGP-M index of Brazilian wholesale, construction and consumer prices climbed 0.68 percent in December, the Getulio Vargas Foundation said on its website today. The median forecast of 30 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 0.76 percent increase. Prices rose 7.82 percent from a year earlier.
“The central bank may not resume cutting the benchmark rate, but it will probably take longer to raise it,” Vladimir Caramaschi, the chief strategist at Credit Agricole Brasil SA, said in a phone interview from Sao Paulo.
Policy makers led by central bank President Alexandre Tombini have reduced the benchmark Selic rate by 5.25 percentage points to a record low 7.25 percent since August 2011 and cut bank reserve requirements to boost credit and shore up economic growth. Brazilian swap rates on contracts due in January 2015 fell three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 7.75 percent today.
Card-payment processor Cielo SA (CIEL3) gained 2.1 percent to 55.94 reais today, poised for the steepest one-day gain since Nov. 1. Cosmetics maker Natura Cosmeticos SA (NATU3) advanced 2.2 percent to 57.98 reais.
Hypermarcas is the best performer on the Bovespa in 2012, with a 91 percent gain through yesterday.
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