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, 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)