Argentina stocks fall on global recession worries

lunes 17 de noviembre de 2008 19:12 ARST

BUENOS AIRES Nov 17 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks retreated on Monday as investors worried about a deepening global recession sold off emerging market assets, while bonds ended three straight sessions of losses.

The MerVal benchmark index .MERV slid 3.29 percent in light trade to 989.06, extending its losses in November to 2.15 percent as index heavyweights Tenaris and Petrobras fell.

Christian Reos, an analyst at Allaria Ledesma, said the fall in both companies, which also trade on Wall Street, reflected losses registered on the Dow Jones on Friday.

"Trading was centered in large part in companies with overseas trading in the United States," he said.

Brazil's state run energy company Petrobras APBR.BA fell 6.46 percent to 38.35 pesos while Tenaris (TENA.BA: Cotización), the world's leading producer of seamless steel tubes for the energy industry, shed 2.38 percent to 41.1 pesos.

The MerVal on Friday had closed ahead of U.S. stock indexes, which fell in late trading after a brief midday recovery.

On the broad market in Buenos Aires, volume was muted at $18 million. Of active issues, 7 advanced, 40 declined and 4 were unchanged.

Sovereign bonds traded in the local over-the-counter market rose 2.2 on average, with the dollar-denominated par bond climbing 5.4 percent.

Traders said investors were largely bargain hunting after bonds fell on average 7.8 percent over the last three sessions.

The peso slid by 0.08 percent to 3.315/3.3175 per dollar ARS=RASL in formal interbank trade, and rose 0.22 percent to 3.3575/3.3625 per dollar ARSB= in informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Kevin Gray; Editing by James Dalgleish)