Argentina stocks up for 7th consecutive session

jueves 3 de abril de 2008 18:33 ART
 

BUENOS AIRES, April 3 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks inched up for the seventh consecutive session on Thursday led by oil-related shares, after farmers called off a three-week strike that had disrupted trade and local food supplies.

The benchmark MerVal stock index .MERV gained 0.77 percent to 2,152.62 points, accumulating a near 7 percent rise over the last seven sessions in the market's best run since the end of February.

"While Wall Street remains relatively calm, Buenos Aires investors are putting together portfolios and focusing on oil-related shares such as Tenaris," said Leopoldo Olivari, a trader at the Bacque brokerage.

Shares of Tenaris TENA.BA, the world's top producer of seamless steel tubes for the oil and gas industry, gained 2.19 percent to 81.85 pesos per share.

To facilitate negotiations with the government, farmers decided on Wednesday to suspend a 21-day strike over a tax hike on soy exports.

"The lifting of the farm strike is giving some peace of mind to investors," a trader said.

On the broad market, volume was a moderate-to-healthy $36.8 million. Of the active issues, 66 advanced, 41 declined and 13 ended unchanged.

Meanwhile, against the dollar, the peso strengthened 0.16 percent to 3.1625/3.1650 ARS=RASL in formal interbank trade, where the central bank regularly intervenes.

In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso ARSB= appreciated 0.08 percent to 3.1825/3.1850.

On the debt market, government bonds <AR/BONOS> rose 1.2 percent on average. The session's gainers were led by the peso-denominated Par bond, which gained 2.3 percent, and the same bond denominated in dollars, which was up 2.2 percent.

Traders said the reducing of domestic tensions due to the end of the strike weighed more in investors' minds than fears of recession in the United States. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola; Writing by Gaspard Sebag; editing by Gary Crosse)