Argentina stocks, bonds end up on U.S. Fed minutes

martes 9 de octubre de 2007 18:28 ART

BUENOS AIRES Oct 9 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks advanced slightly on Tuesday, responding to a U.S. Federal Reserve report that cleared up inflationary concerns and left open the possibility of additional interest rate cuts, traders said.

The MerVal index .MERV of 25 leading stocks rose 0.22 percent to close at 2,291.84 points, mirroring gains in key markets such as on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrials .DJI climbed 0.86 percent to a record closing high.

"In a globalized world, the domino effect is important and is exactly why our market went up in this case. Today, the Dow is up and, therefore, the MerVal also rose," said one analyst.

Minutes from the Fed's most recent meeting, which took place on Sept. 18, were released on Tuesday, showing that members considered further interest rate cuts possible since concerns about inflation had abated.

On the broad market, volume was a hefty 103.7 million pesos ($32.5 million). Among active issues, 51 advanced, 23 declined and 15 were unchanged.

The MerVal's leaders were headed by real estate firm IRSA IRS.BA, which rose 3.16 percent to 5.23 pesos per share, and the Argentine arm of Brazil's state oil company Petrobras APBR.BA, which ended up 2.38 percent at 129 pesos per share.

Argentine sovereign debt <AR/BONOS> gained 0.5 percent as institutional investors bought back paper, especially bonds restructured by the government in 2005.

The peso currency weakened as investors sought dollars to minimize risk ahead of the presidential elections at the end of the month.

In trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso weakened 0.23 percent to 3.1950/3.1975 per U.S. dollar ARSB=.

In formal interbank trade, where the central bank intervenes, the peso slipped 0.08 percent to 3.1600/3.1625 per dollar ARS=RASL.