Argentina stocks, bonds dip as banks slump

miércoles 12 de diciembre de 2007 18:42 ART

BUENOS AIRES Dec 12 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks and bonds turned negative at the end of the day as local financial issues slumped on Wednesday along with their Wall Street counterparts.

The MerVal index .MERV of the 25 leading stocks dipped 0.19 percent to 2,226.12 points, after rising earlier in the session in tandem with U.S. stocks, as central banks around the world injected liquidity into markets to help troubled banks.

But in the end, concerns about more mortgage losses at international banks weighed stocks down.

Grupo Financiero Galicia GFG.BA sank 3.29 percent to 2.35 pesos per share, while BBVA Banco Frances FRA.BA shed 2.01 percent to 8.78 pesos.

"The strong change in tendency shown by U.S. banks led local investors to unwind positions in bank shares," said Jorge Alberti, analyst with, a specialty Web site.

Volume in the broad market was moderate at $40 million. Of active issues 35 advanced, 55 declined and nine were unchanged.

Government bonds in the domestic market slipped an average 0.4 percent, but performance was mixed. The Boden 12 in pesos rose 1.0 percent in over-the-counter trade, while the dollar-denominated Par fell 2.0 percent.

The peso currency was unchanged in informal trade between foreign-exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, closing at 3.1450/3.1475 per U.S. dollar ARSB=.

The peso also closed flat in interbank trade, where the central bank intervenes to keep the curerncy stable, at 3.1375/3.1400 ARS=RASL per dollar. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola, writing by Fiona Ortiz; editing by Jan Paschal)