Argentine stocks, bonds up after cabinet announced

miércoles 14 de noviembre de 2007 17:57 ART

BUENOS AIRES Nov 14 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks and bonds rose on Wednesday, after President-elect Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner unveiled the cabinet, and new economy minister, that will take office along with her on Dec. 10.

The MerVal index .MERV of the 25 leading stocks ended up 0.18 percent at 2,309.43 points, slipping on profit-taking after rising as much as 1.4 percent in early trade when 36-year-old Martin Lousteau was tapped to head the Economy Ministry.

"It's very good for the market to know ahead of time who will be working with the new president. Nearly all of us believe the economy will stay on the same track," a bond trader said.

Volume on the broad stock market was a hefty 229.44 million pesos ($72.6 million). Of active issues, 49 advanced, 35 declined and 14 were unchanged.

The session's gains were led by Brazil's Petrobras APBR.BA, the shares of which rose 2.9 percent to 168 pesos per share in Buenos Aires, and steel-tube maker Tenaris TENA.BA, which gained 2.2 percent to end at 74.80 pesos.

On the domestic bond market, sovereign prices rose an average 1.2 percent <AR/BONOS>, with investor interest seen in both peso- and dollar-denominated paper, traders said.

Fernandez, the first lady and a prominent senator, is the wife of center-left President Nestor Kirchner, who has presided over nearly five years of economic growth of 8 percent a year.

Argentina's debt spreads over comparable U.S. Treasuries tightened 9 basis points to 375 basis points on JPMorgan's EMBI+ bond index 11EMJ on Wednesday evening.

The peso currency ended flat at 3.1600/3.1625 per U.S. dollar in informal trade between foreign exchange houses ARSB=, as measured by Reuters.

In formal interbank trade, the peso firmed 0.16 percent to close at 3.1275/3.1300 per dollar ARS=RASL. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Translation by Hilary Burke; Editing by James Dalgleish)