Argentine bonds slump after U.S. cenbank embargo

martes 12 de enero de 2010 18:38 ART

* Bonds slip 3 pct as U.S. judge freezes Central bank deposits

* Stocks fall on deepening legal, political dispute

* Peso ends flat against the U.S. dollar (Updates prices, adds U.S. accounts embargo)

By Jorge Otaola

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Argentine bonds and stocks sank on Tuesday after a U.S. judge froze accounts held by the Central Bank in the United States, deepening a legal dispute over Argentina's plan to use foreign reserves to pay debt.

The decision to freeze the accounts was made by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Griesa, who is handling a series of lawsuits brought by holders of defaulted Argentine bonds.For details see [ID:N12112043]

The news sent sovereign debt traded over the counter in Buenos Aires tumbling 3 percent on average, dragged down by heavily traded peso-denominated Discount bonds ARDISCP=RASL, which fell 8 percent.

The account embargo further complicates a bitter political and legal dispute over Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's plan to pay debt obligations this year with part of the Central Bank's $48 billion in foreign currency reserves.

A judge last week blocked the plan and ordered the reinstatement of Central Bank chief Martin Redrado, whom Fernandez fired for opposing the measure.   Continuación...