Argentine stocks, bonds, down in global slump

viernes 5 de septiembre de 2008 17:49 ART

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks hovered at their lowest since October 2006 on Friday, and bonds also lost ground, hit by a global sell-off in emerging markets.

The MerVal index .MERV shed 0.93 percent to 1,678.74, shedding 4.52 percent over the last two sessions. Volume was a light $27.4 million. Of active issues 29 advanced, 80 declined and 14 were unchanged.

Steel pipe maker Tenaris TENA.BA slid 3.72 percent to 69.8 pesos per share, its lowest close since February. Tenaris is weighted as 14 percent of the MerVal and moves with oil prices since it supplies that industry.

"As long as there are still signs of weakness in the United States, driving down the international markets, the MerVal will continue with the same trend with scarce volume," said Guido Macchi, trader with Julio Macchi brokerage in Buenos Aires.

Argentine government debt traded on the local market fell 0.6 percent on average <AR/BONOS> led by the dollar-denominated Boden 14, which gave up 2.4 percent ARBODEN14D=RASL.

The United States unemployment rate hit a five-year high of 6.1 percent in August, fanning fears of global economic weakness and hammering global stocks.

The Argentine peso closed mixed, less affected than other currencies in Latin America because the Central Bank normally intervenes to keep the currency stable.

The peso slipped 0.08 percent to 3.0375/3.04 per dollar ARS=RASL in formal trade between banks. It gained 0.08 percent to 3.07/3.0725 per dollar ARSB= in informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola, Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by James Dalgleish)