Argentina bonds steady, stocks soar amid debt row

miércoles 13 de enero de 2010 15:56 ART

* Stocks, bonds rebound from Tuesday's sell-off

* Peso weakens as safe-haven dollar demand picks up

By Jorge Otaola

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rallied in afternoon trade on Wednesday, while bonds reversed earlier losses after the government vowed to press on with a debt swap despite a row over plans to use foreign reserves to pay debt.

Argentina is sending a "strong signal" that the swap to mop up defaulted sovereign bonds is going ahead as planned, Economy Minister Amado Boudou told Reuters in an interview. For details see [ID:N13136742]

Argentine bonds traded over the counter in Buenos Aires traded up by an average of 0.3 percent, after reversing losses of 0.9 percent earlier in the session. The peso-denominated Discount bond ARDISCP=RASL was up 1.9 percent to an ask price of 103.80.

"The recovery of the bonds was a reasonable readjustment," said Christian Reos, an analyst at the Allaria Ledesma and Co brokerage. He said the market was recovering from the sell-off sparked on Monday by a U.S. judge's decision to freeze $1.7 million in central bank funds in the United States.

"Boudou's comments ... restore calm to the market by maintaining the idea that the swap is still on course," he added.

A similar assessment of the impact of the U.S. embargo helped lift local stocks, traders said. The MerVal index .MERV last traded 2.85 percent higher to 2,335.31 points.   Continuación...