Argentine stocks hit lowest point since Nov 2006

lunes 4 de agosto de 2008 18:11 ART

(Recasts; adds peso, bonds)

BUENOS AIRES Aug 4 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks closed on Monday at their lowest level since November 2006, falling along with global commodities prices and amid a regional slump.

The MerVal benchmark index .MERV ended 3.78 percent lower at 1812.75 points, marking the biggest single-day drop since mid-January. It was the third straight session of losses.

"The steep fall in commodities prices didn't help at all, affecting a vast amount of shares from the start of the session. Global markets were also down," said Francisco Marra, a trader at Bull Markets Brokers.

"The selling was also encouraged by domestic factors after the president's message (on Saturday)," he added.

Brazilian and Mexican stocks closed sharply lower on Monday, and U.S. stocks fell as well.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez gave an unprecedented press conference on Saturday, but she defended her government's actions during a four-month farm dispute and showed no sign of changing her policies or cabinet ministers.

Trade volume on the overall market was a slim $18.1 million. Of active shares, 4 rose, 55 fell and 7 were unchanged.

Food maker and grains exporter Molinos Rio de la Plata MOL.BA shed 7 percent to end at 7.55 pesos per share, while heavily weighted power firm Pampa Holding (PAM.BA: Cotización) fell 6.25 percent to close at 1.5 pesos.   Continuación...