Argentina stocks, bonds slip, trailing U.S. losses

martes 16 de octubre de 2007 18:39 ART

BUENOS AIRES Oct 16 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks fell on Tuesday, following Wall Street down as the market lost ground on high oil prices and concerns about a credit squeeze.

The MerVal index .MERV of 25 leading stocks dropped 1.19 percent to close at 2,235.11 points. Volume on the broad market was moderate at $31.8 million. Among active issues, 28 advanced, 35 declined and 13 were unchanged.

"We're seeing the MerVal hit by international market losses, and today's news about capital flight from the United States did not help matters, as local financial issues were affected the most," said Francisco Marra, an analyst with Bull Markets Brokers.

As oil prices soared above $88 a barrel for the first time, the U.S. Treasury Department announced record high net capital outflows for August, reflecting the continuing credit squeeze.

Losses in Buenos Aires were led by energy group Pampa Holding PAM.BA, which slid 2.55 percent to 2.67 pesos per share, and banking firms Grupo Financiero Galicia GFG.BA and Banco Patagonia BPAT.BA, which lost 1.96 percent and 1.63 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Argentine sovereign bonds <AR/BONOS> lost 1.0 percent on average on the local market as investors took profits following Monday's market closure for the local Columbus Day holiday.

Peso-denominated Boden 2014 bonds dropped 1.4 percent, while Discount paper in pesos slipped 1.2 percent.

The peso currency ended mixed. In trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the currency firmed 0.08 percent to close at 3.200/3.2025 per U.S. dollar ARSB=.

In formal interbank trade, where the central bank regularly intervenes, it gave up the same percentage, ending at 3.1575/3.1600 per dollar ARS=RASL.