By Carla Mozee Major Latin American stock markets closed higher Friday, finding some relief after a tough week that ended in losses in the wake of heightened fears that global growth is slowing at a faster pace than had been anticipated. Key stock indexes in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Argentina posted daily gains ranging from 0.1% to 1.8%. But for the week, Brazil's Bovespa fell 2.7%, its first loss since the week ended June 2. Mexico's IPC fell 2.5%, its second loss in three weeks. Argentina's Merval fell 2.4%, its first loss since the week ended July 16, and Chile's IPSA slipped less than 1 point, but the loss was enough to notch its first weekly loss since June 2. The declines followed a spate of worrisome developments internationally this week, including Tuesday's decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to rollover debt back into the Treasury market as it sees more modest growth for the rest of the year. In addition to the Fed's downgrade of the pace of recovery, the Bank of England this week lowered its outlook on U.K. growth, and a July slowdown in imports in China raised concerns about slowing in a key market, particularly for commodities. A four-week streak of inflows to Latin American equity funds was snapped this week, according to fund tracker EPFR in a note on Friday. "Doubts about the strength of U.S. and Chinese demand for commodities and other exports drove the outflows from Latin America Equity Funds, with Mexico Equity Funds again hit hard, although Brazil and Colombia Equity Funds did manage to attract modest amounts of new money," wrote Brad Durham, managing director at EPFR. Trading action On Friday in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa rose 0.5% to 66,264.43. Shares of Tam (TAM) staged a dramatic turnaround in Sao Paulo, rising 27.6% to 36.20 reals ($20.42) after the company and Chile's Lan Airlines said they are in talks to combine operations, which could create the largest airline operator in South America. Shares of rival airline operator Gol (GOL) jumped 11% and Santiago-traded shares of Lan (LFL) climbed 7.7%. Tam shares during the session had led decliners on the Bovespa after the airline operator late Thursday swung to a second-quarter loss of 154.1 million reals for the most recent period. A year ago, Brazil's biggest air carrier earned 555.1 million reals. Tam said operational expenses rose 6.3%, largely because of higher fuel expenses. Fuel costs rose nearly 37% to 847 million reals from the year-ago. Also up were shares of oil giant Petrobras (PBR). They rose 0.5% ahead of their quarterly results. Late Friday, Petrobras said its second-quarter net income rose to 8.29 billion reals ($4.68 billion), up from 8.16 billion reals a year ago. Net operating revenue rose to 53.6 billion reals from 44.6 billion reals a year ago. Home builders as a group rose 2.1% in Sao Paulo, with a 3.7% jump in Rossi Residencial shares and a 3.7% rise in PDG Realty (PDGRY). Shares of OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes (OGXPY) gained 2.3%, adding to gains on Thursday after the company said it made a hydrocarbon find onshore of the Parnaiba basin, and, separately, said it swung to a second-quarter profit of 57.8 million reals. Chile's IPSA climbed 1.8% to 4,462.24, bolstered in part by the surge in Lan's shares. Late Thursday, Chile's central bank raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 2%, meeting market expectations. The move marked the third consecutive rate hike by monetary policy makers. Mexico's IPC rose 0.2% to 32,099.75, but the gain was limited in part by declines in retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico (WMMVY), down 0.2%, and cement maker Cemex (CX), down 1.8%. Argentina's Merval eked out a gain of 0.1% to 2,367.98.