Argentine stocks end flat, bonds slightly higher

miércoles 2 de enero de 2008 19:30 ARST

BUENOS AIRES Jan 2 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks closed little changed on Wednesday as gains among energy companies after oil hit $100 a barrel offset losses tied to a sharp drop on Wall Street.

The MerVal index .MERV of the 42 leading stocks rose 0.01 in the first session of the year to at 2,151.74 points.

"The clouds caused by outside markets were limited by the record crude oil price," said Marcelo Paccione, an analyst at ConsulCapital.

The Dow Jones industrial average got off to its worst start of any year after data showed a surprise contraction in manufacturing and crude oil prices surged to $100 a barrel, raising the specter of stagflation in the United States.

Among Wednesday's biggest decliners was Banco Patagonia BPAT.BA, which fell 7.69 percent to 3.6 pesos a share.

The MerVal's gainers were headed by Petrobras Participaciones PCH.BA, the Argentine affiliate of Brazil's Petrobras APBR.BAPETR4.SA, which surged 10.51 percent to 4.31 pesos per share.

On the broad market, volume was moderate at $49.7 million, and 32 active issues advanced, 40 declined and nine were unchanged.


Sovereign debt on the local market finished mixed on Wednesday in thin trade in the first session after the New Year holiday.   Continuación...