Argentine stocks fall ahead of president's speech

lunes 9 de junio de 2008 18:01 ART

BUENOS AIRES, June 9 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks closed lower on Monday for the second straight session, mirroring losses in other markets in Latin America, while the peso firmed and bond prices rose slightly.

The benchmark MerVal stocks index .MERV fell 0.8 percent to end at 2,162.12 points. Brazilian .BVSP and Mexican .MXX markets also ended lower.

On Argentina's broad market, volume was thin at $17.3 million as investors awaited progress after farmers lifted their third protest in three months, and ahead of a speech by President Cristina Fernandez, scheduled for Monday evening.

"The MerVal accompanied the trend seen elsewhere in the region but with very little trade as investors awaited the president's speech," said Horacio Corneille, director of a brokerage bearing his last name.

"They want to see what tone she uses to make any announcement, whether it is confrontational or conciliatory," he added.

The MerVal's losses were led by media holding Grupo Clarin (CLA.BA: Cotización), which shed 5.5 percent to end at 17.3 pesos a share.

Of active issues on the broad market, 22 advanced, 62 declined and 13 were unchanged.


Government debt traded locally rose an average 0.3 percent on purchases by state-run banks, traders said. The biggest gainer was the dollar-denominated Discount bond, which rose 1.5 percent.   Continuación...