Argentine stocks, bonds slump due global downturn

miércoles 2 de julio de 2008 18:26 ART

BUENOS AIRES, July 2 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks plunged on Tuesday, pressured by the losses of other regional markets and by profit-taking in energy-related shares, while bonds were also weaker, traders said.

The benchmark MerVal stock index .MERV dropped 2.96 percent to end at 2,033.03 points, and index heavyweight Tenaris (TENA.BA: Cotización) (TS.N: Cotización) -- the world's top producer of seamless steel pipes for the energy industry -- slumped 5.39 percent to 110.5 pesos per share.

"The MerVal's slide came as a result of a general downturn in global markets. In contrast with other days, that was aggravated by the losses of energy stocks due to heavy profit-taking despite the record crude price," said Leopoldo Olivari, a trader at the Bacque brokerage.

A prolonged conflict between farmers and the Argentine government continues to cause uncertainty, he added.

Elsewhere in the region, Brazilian stocks .BVSP fell 3.61 percent and Mexico's IPC index .MXX shed 1.85 percent.

Trade volume in Buenos Aires picked up slightly to $40 million. Of active issues, 69 fell, 43 rose and 13 were unchanged.


On the local debt market, Argentine bonds <AR/BONOS> took a beating, falling by 1.5 percent on average in over-the-counter trade due to growing risk aversion among investors, traders said.

Among the hardest hit was the peso-denominated Par bond, which plunged 3.1 percent.   Continuación...