Mexican stocks up, driven by Cemex

Mexican stocks up, driven by Cemex
Published: 01 January 2007

Mexican stocks rose to a fresh all-time high in slow, early trade last Thursday as cement maker Cemex gained on recent signs of strength in the US housing market.

Shares for Cemex , the world’s third largest cement producer and the biggest supplier of the material to US construction firms, rose 1.10 percent to 36.75 pesos after jumping 2.74 per cent on Wednesday. Its New York traded shares gained 0.99 per cent to $33.75.

A US government report on Wednesday showed sales of new US homes rose a higher-than-expected 3.4 percent in November, a figure some analysts said was a sign of growing health in the sector, which has been sluggish this year. Sales of U.S. existing homes rose 0.6 percent in November, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

Cemex said earlier that it saw fourth-quarter sales volume in the United States falling 11 per cent from a year earlier and ready-mix volumes were expected to drop 27 per cent.

"Everybody thought there wouldn’t be a recovery in (US) housing until the first quarter. ... Any data that is better or more optimistic causes a rebound (in Cemex) like what you are seeing today," said a Mexico City stock trader.