Argentine stocks hit by oil losses, bonds mixed

martes 22 de julio de 2008 17:52 ART

BUENOS AIRES, July 22 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks dropped on Tuesday as lower global oil prices hit energy-related stocks, while bonds and the peso held steady.

The MerVal benchmark stock index .MERV closed down 1.26 percent at 1,956.77 points following two consecutive gains, deepening its losses in July to 7.17 percent and to 9.06 percent since the start of the year.

The biggest drag on the MerVal was index heavyweight Tenaris (TENA.BA: Cotización), the world's biggest producer of seamless steel tubes for the energy industry. Its stock plunged 3.83 percent to 95.5 pesos per share.

Locally listed shares in Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras (APBR.BA: Cotización) shed 3.5 percent to 88.3 pesos.

"The sharp losses of Tenaris and (Brazilian state oil company) Petrobras pressured the MerVal, though there was still some interest in banking and utility stocks," said Jorge Alberti of the online brokerage

Oil, which last week had its biggest weekly decline ever, slid 2.4 percent in New York as the dollar rose.

Trade volume on the MerVal slimmed slightly to a moderate $36.5 million. Of active shares, 59 fell, 35 advanced and 13 were unchanged.


Argentine bonds traded with mixed values on the local market in a choppy session marked by profit-taking and central bank purchases, traders said.   Continuación...