Global recession fears hit Argentina stocks

martes 18 de noviembre de 2008 19:16 ARST

BUENOS AIRES Nov 18 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks slid on Tuesday as investor fears of a deepening global recession sent blue-chips Petrobras and Tenaris tumbling.

The MerVal benchmark index .MERV shed 4.47 percent to end 944.83 points, accumulating a 7.62 percent loss in the last two sessions.

"The growing signs of a global recession hit the Latin American markets hard, it was like a domino effect," said Claudio Szlaien, an analyst at Marlon Recursos Financieros brokerage.

Among other key indexes in the region, Brazil's Bovespa .BVSP closed 4.54 percent lower and Mexico's benchmark IPC stock index .MXX dropped more than 2 percent.

Buenos Aires-listed shares of Brazil's state run energy company Petrobras APBR.BA fell 8.7 percent to 35 pesos and Tenaris (TENA.BA: Cotización), the world's leading producer of seamless steel tubes for the energy industry, lost 6.45 percent to close at 38.45 pesos.

On the broad market, volume was a slack $19.6 million. Of active issues, 6 advanced, 40 declined and 14 were unchanged.

Argentine debt prices closed slightly higher in low trade. Sovereign bonds traded in the local over-the-counter market gained 1.0 on average, led by a 3.5 percent rise in the dollar-denominated Bonar 2013 ARBONAR13=RASL.

The peso currency weakened in light trade in part on concerns about the global economic downturn.

The peso dipped 0.15 percent to 3.32/3.3225 per dollar ARS=RASL in formal interbank trade, and fell by 0.22 percent to 3.365/3.37 per dollar ARSB= in informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Kevin Gray)