Argentina stocks inch up, oil shares lead gains

martes 20 de noviembre de 2007 17:53 ART

BUENOS AIRES Nov 20 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks edged higher on Tuesday, with issues linked to energy-related companies leading gainers, traders said.

The MerVal index .MERV of the 25 leading stocks closed up 0.1 percent to 2,245.89 points in moderate volume of $35.7 million.

"The market ended almost neutral thanks to rises in Tenaris and Petrobras," said Marcelo Paccione, an analyst with ConsultCapital.

Argentine-listed shares of Brazilian oil company Petrobras APBR.BA rose 2.2 percent to 165 pesos, while index heavyweight Tenaris (TENA.BA: Cotización), the world's biggest maker of seamless steel tubes for the energy industry, gained 0.68 percent to 73.8 pesos.

Argentine sovereign bonds <AR/BONOS> gained 0.2 percent on average on the domestic market, led by a 0.5 percent rise in the dollar-denominated Par bond.

The peso closed flat in interbank trade controlled by the central bank at 3.1300/3.1325 per U.S. dollar ARS=RASL. In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso dipped 0.16 percent to 3.155/3.1575 per dollar ARSB=. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola, writing by Kevin Gray; editing by Gary Crosse)