Argentina stocks climb on oil prices, debt gains

miércoles 13 de agosto de 2008 18:10 ART

BUENOS AIRES Aug 13 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rose on Wednesday after four straight losses, lifted by gains among energy-related shares and banks, which got a boost from government bond buying.

The benchmark MerVal index .MERV closed up 2.73 percent at 1,742.93 points. In the last four sessions, it clocked a loss of 9.35 percent.

"There was a lot of buying by the pension funds, which provoked a pretty strong gain, added to the commodities rebound," said Augusto Farina, a trader at the Amirante Galitis brokerage.

Oil prices bounced back on Wednesday, fueling gains in energy companies such as Brazil's state-run oil firm Petrobras (APBR.BA: Cotización), which rose 5.2 percent to 80.6 pesos per share.

A strong performance by bonds helped banking stocks including Grupo Financiero Galicia (GFG.BA: Cotización), which climbed 5.4 percent to 1.36 pesos.

Local banks are among the biggest holders of Argentine bonds.

Trade volume on the overall market was a moderate $34 million. Of active shares, 42 rose, 51 fell and 9 were unchanged.

Meanwhile, Argentine sovereign debt rose by 2 percent on average in over-the-counter trade, with the dollar-denominated Boden bond maturing in 2014 gaining 4.3 percent.

The government has been buying back bonds since the start of the week in a bid to stabilize prices that plunged last week due to concern over the country's financing outlook and economic management.   Continuación...