Argentina stocks down again, peso slumps
BUENOS AIRES Feb 18 (Reuters) - Argentina's stock, currency and bond market trends on Wednesday:
* The benchmark MerVal stocks index .MERV shed 1.68 percent to end at 1,054.90 points, falling for the third straight session amid fears of a prolonged global recession as well as a drop in crude oil prices.
* The Buenos Aires-listed shares of Brazilian state energy firm Petrobras APBR.BA, which carries a 12 percent weighting on the MerVal, slid 5 percent to 48.35 pesos.
* On the broad market, volume was thin at $9.6 million. Among active issues, 8 advanced, 30 declined and 17 ended unchanged.
* Government bonds traded over the counter in Buenos Aires also fell for the third consecutive day, dipping 0.9 percent on average in another session marked by limp trade.
* The peso-denominated Boden 2014 ARBODEN14=RASL sank 3.3 percent, according to the ask price.
* In formal exchange between banks, where the central bank regularly intervenes to avoid abrupt movements, the peso weakened 0.21 percent to 3.51/3.5125 per dollar ARS=RASL.
* In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso currency slumped 0.49 percent to 3.56/3.565 ARSB=, its lowest level since December 2002.
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