Argentina stocks boosted by oil prices; peso mixed

jueves 11 de diciembre de 2008 19:09 ARST

BUENOS AIRES Dec 11 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks gained for a seventh straight session on Thursday as rising global oil prices boosted energy-related shares.

The benchmark MerVal index .MERV rose 2.71 percent to close at 1,089.65 points. On the broad market volume was light at $16.6 million and of active issues 39 advanced, 11 declined and 20 were unchanged.

"The oil sector again helped the MerVal to rise," said Diego Zabaletta, a trader at the Besfamiglie brokerage.

Oil surged more than 10 percent on Thursday, settling at nearly $48 a barrel after the president of OPEC called for more production cuts and the dollar feel to a seven-week low against the euro.

On the MerVal, index heavyweight Tenaris (TENA.BA: Cotización), the world's leading producer of seamless steel tubes for the energy industry, rose 3.74 percent to 36.1 pesos.

Buenos Aires-listed shares of Brazilian oil company Petrobras APBR.BA, gained 5.4 percent to 41 pesos. Petrobras' local unit, Petrobras Energia Participaciones PCH.BA also rose, climbing 6.88 percent to 2.33 pesos.

Argentine debt traded on the local market fell 1.1 percent on average in light trade as investors pocketed profits after two consecutive sessions of gains.

The dollar-denominated Par bond ARPARP=RASL shed 3.4 percent to lead losers.

On the foreign exchange market, the peso gained as the central bank intervened heavily with an eye toward the real currency in neighboring Brazil, traders said.   Continuación...