BRIEF-Lexmark gets CFIUS clearance to proceed with proposed transaction
* Following review, CFIUS found there are no unresolved national security issues associated with proposed acquisition of company
* Anti-austerity strikes in Europe rattle investors * Brazil economic activity slips for first month since March * Bovespa falls 2.1 pct, reaches support level By Danielle Assalve and Gabriel Stargardter SAO PAULO/MEXICO CITY Nov 14 Latin American stocks fell on Wednesday, with Brazilian stocks slumping the most in two months after data showed Latin American's top economy shrank in September. Brazilian stocks closed at an 10-week low, clinging to an important support level. Analysts warned that a break lower on strong volume could herald steeper losses ahead. Risk appetite fell around the world as millions of workers across Europe protested against the spending cuts and tax hikes policymakers have enacted to help tackle the region's debt crisis. Adding to concerns that a global economic recovery could face hurdles, data released on Wednesday showed that economic activity in Brazil contracted in September for the first time since March. "There is a sum of negative factors both abroad and in Brazil," said Andre Paes, a director at Infinity Asset in Curitiba. "It all weighs on the market." Most analysts see the Brazilian economy recovering to about 4 percent growth in 2013 after a year of non-stop fiscal and monetary stimulus. Nonetheless, Guilherme Sand, a partner with Zenith Asset Management in Porto Alegre, said that if those measures "aren't having the effect they were designed to have, we could find ourselves in a very challenging environment." Commodities firms drove Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index to its fifth decline in six sessions. The index has lost nearly 4 percent since the start of November. The Bovespa lost 2.1 percent to 56,279.36, recovering slightly after hitting its lowest intra-day level in three months. A break of the 56,200 support level in September prompted investors to snap up cheap shares. "The market remains uncertain, with a downward bias in the short term, very close to an important support at 56,200 points," said technical analyst Daniel Marques at brokerage Agora in Rio de Janeiro. He added that a close below 56,200 in the coming days on strong volume "could make worse a scenario that was already slightly negative for stocks." Shares of widely traded commodities firms Vale and Petrobras slipped 1.85 percent and 3.27 percent, respectively, contributing most to the index's loss. Shares of JBS SA began the day in the black after the world's biggest beef producer said on Wednesday it will open six new slaughterhouses to increase its production capacity in Brazil by 15 percent in the coming months. But the shares ended the day down 3.06 percent despite the company posting a third-quarter profit driven by its strong Brazilian cattle business and recovering U.S. poultry operations. The ability of Latin America's largest independent investment bank to consistently chalk up healthy profits in a tough market is debunking the "myth" among some investors that its business model is inherently unstable, BTG Pactual Chief Executive André Esteves said on Tuesday. Units in BTG Pactual Group fell 2.28 percent. Brazil's stock market will be closed on Thursday for a national holiday, reopening on Friday. The MSCI Latin American stock index returned the previous session's gains, losing 1.52 percent to 3,530. Mexico's IPC index snapped a two-day rally, losing 0.8 percent to 40,750.42. Mining firm Grupo Mexico slipped 3.0 percent, driving losses. Chile's IPSA index dropped for a sixth straight session, losing 0.46 percent to 4,187.73. The Chilean central bank kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 5.0 percent on Tuesday, as expected, for the tenth consecutive month. Latin America's key stock indexes at 2207 GMT: Stock indexes % change Latest MSCI LatAm 3,530.00 -1.52 Brazil Bovespa 56,279.36 -2.1 Mexico IPC 40,750.42 -0.8 Chile IPSA 4,187.73 -0.46 Chile IGPA 20,535.72 -0.46 Argentina MerVal 2,320.69 -1.41 Colombia IGBC 14,040.30 -0.88 Peru IGRA 20,523.54 -2.58 Venezuela IBC 372,840.03 0.25
* Santander shares down 3.4 pct in weaker bank sector (Adds details on core markets, analyst comment)
Sept 30 U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Friday as fresh worries about Deutsche Bank's woes unsettled investors.