Brazilian and Mexican equities edged higher Thursday, as buyers sought bargains a day after U.S. economic worries sent stocks sharply lower.

Mexico's IPC rose 162 points, or 0.6%, to 28,860.78. The benchmark index stumbled 2.8% to 28,699.12 on Wednesday.

The Bovespa index in Brazil rose 77 points, or 0.1%, to 62,891.97, up from 62,815.

Argentine and Chilean stocks, meanwhile, finished lower. The Merval slipped 1.2 points to 2,150.57 and the IPSA fell 7 points, or 0.2%, to 2,989.67. In Sao Palo, stock in mining giant Vale rose 1.2% as gold futures hit a new 28-year high to $869.10 an ounce as the weak U.S. dollar boosted demand for the metal. See Metals Stocks.

Copper leaped about 45 and silver rose 21 cents to $15.50.

In Mexico, copper miner Grupo Mexico jumped 3.3% and silver miner Penoles climbed 1.5%.

The markets started 2008 on shaky ground Monday after a report showed that U.S. manufacturing activity contracted in December and crude-oil futures touched $100 a barrel for the first time ever. Higher oil prices can cut into corporate profit and spur inflation.

The front-month crude contract crossed $100 a barrel on Thursday but settled at $99.18 as concerns about employment growth overshadowed a bigger-than-expected drop in weekly U.S. crude inventories.

The record-high oil prices didn't lift shares of Brazil's state-run oil giant Petrobras .They declined 1.6%.

Oil-price sensitive companies Gol dropped 3.5% and rival air carrier TAM fell 1%. Railroad operator American Latina Logistica finished down 1.5%.

But after losses on Monday, Mexican airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico ended 3.2% higher. Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte closed up for a second straight day, by 0.9%.

Shares of banking firms Banorte and Financiero Inbursa suffered. Banorte fell 2.5% and Inbursa lost 2.6%. Retailer Soriana extended its losses and closed down 3.8%, while heavyweight Wal-Mart de Mexico climbed 2.1%. Volume leader America Movil rose 0.5% and fixed-line operator Telefonos de Mexico surged 1.9%.