Mexican stocks hit 5th straight high


MEXICO CITY -- Mexican stocks rose to a record high for the fifth straight session as investors snapped up shares, confident the North American Free Trade Agreement would pass, traders said.

Mexico's bolsa index rose 36.02 points, or 1.70 percent, to close at 2,159.35. Volume amounted to 299.5 million shares traded, worth 2,859.5 million pesos. Out of 132 stocks traded, 70 advanced, 22 declined and 40 remained unchanged.

"The vote count keeps getting closer and closer," said Lucia Skwarek, head of emerging market equity trading at J.P. Morgan. "The market seems to be more and more positive that NAFTA will happen."

Investors are hoping NAFTA will boost Mexico's economic growth and improve chances the country will soon obtain a higher credit rating. Currently, the country's is rated noninvestment grade by both Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's.

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