U.S. Markets Recover; Chile’s IPSA Leads Gains in LatAm

West Texas Intermediate futures rose 56 cents to close at $110 per barrel in New York

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
May 25, 2022 | 06:40 PM

A roundup of Wednesday’s stock market results from across the region

🗽 On Wall Street:

U.S. stock markets closed in positive territory on Wednesday after the previous day’s losses. Gains were driven by the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting, which gave no sign that policymakers may be more aggressive in the fight against inflation.

The S&P 500 closed 0.95% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite (CCMPDL) closed with a 1.51% advance and the Dow Jones Industrials advanced 0.60%.

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Although most monetary policymakers see a rate hike of half a percentage point over the next two meetings as appropriate, they left hints of a possible pause in the minutes.

“U.S. stocks rose as investors anticipate that the rapidly weakening economy will force the Fed to hit the brakes on its tightening cycle. The FOMC minutes are more than three weeks old, but gave a glimmer of hope that they may adjust their tightening policy later in the year,” said Edward Moya, an analyst at Oanda.

🔑 The Day’s Key Movements:

Oil rose after a U.S. government report showed that the country’s fuel stockpiles depleted at a slower pace and refineries increased production to the highest level in years, providing relief to markets.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures rose 56 cents to close at $110 per barrel in New York. U.S. gasoline stockpiles fell by 482,000 barrels, the smallest decline since February, according to an EIA report released Wednesday.

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Gasoline stocks are at the lowest level for this time of year in nearly a decade. However, U.S. refineries are running at the fastest pace since January 2020.

“It wasn’t a bad report, it just wasn’t good enough,” said Rebecca Babin, a senior energy trader at CIBC Private Wealth Management. While Oanda’s Moya argued that today’s performance shows that “the oil market remains tight and it looks like crude prices will continue to be supported.”

🥇 Latin America’s Leader:

Latin American stock markets also caught the good mood seen in the United States. Chile’s Ipsa (IIPSA) was the best performer among its peers in the region.

Chile’s leading index closed up 0.96%, driven by the industrial, real estate and information technology sectors. Shares of Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile SA (SQM/B), Banco de Crédito e Inversiones (BCI) and CAP SA (CAP) outperformed.

Mexico’s S&P BMV/IPC (MEXBOL) added to the gains, closing the day with an advance of 0.81%. The materials, communication services and consumer staples sectors supported the rise.

Argentina’s Merval (MERVAL) did not trade on Wednesday due to a national holiday.

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📉 A Bad Day:

The Peruvian stock market continued its losing streak on Tuesday. In fact, it was the only one to end the day in the red. The S&P BVL/Peru (SPBLPGPT) dropped 0.16%, dragged down by the industrials, materials and consumer staples sectors.

Shares of Panoro Minerals Ltd (PML), Trevali Mining Corp (TV), and Volcan Compañía Minera SAA (VOLCABC1) dragged down the bourse’s performance.

🍝 For the Dinner Table Debate:

Monkeypox has been making headlines as cases have been found in almost two dozen countries. In response, health authorities have issued protocols for the care and traceability of cases of infection in each territory.

The latest report of the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that there are already 131 confirmed cases of monkeypox around the world, and there are another 106 suspected cases in 19 non-endemic countries. This raises doubts about the possibility of taking sufficient precautions to avoid contracting the disease, since it is also spread from person to person, although under very different scenarios to what happens with SARS-CoV-2.

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“Transmission occurs mainly from person to person through contact with body fluids, skin lesions or saliva droplets from infected people or animals. Also, infection through surfaces has been reported,” Dr. Juan David Ramirez of the Universidad del Rosario in Colombia, told Bloomberg Línea.

According to Ramirez, to avoid contagion, one of the most effective mechanisms is to isolate people with suspected infection, avoid contact with wounds, and use masks in case of having any contact with an infected person.