Argentine stocks flat as investors eye US economy

viernes 23 de noviembre de 2007 19:05 ART

BUENOS AIRES Nov 23 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks closed virtually flat on Friday in a session marked by selective trading as investors waited for further signs of the health of the U.S. economy.

The MerVal index .MERV of the 25 leading stocks rose 0.06 percent to 2,212.04 points, but ended the week down 3.03 percent. Of active issues, 41 advanced, 23 declined and 18 were unchanged, in volume that totaled a light $24.6 million.

"For now there are no signs the market will retreat. But at the same time there are few signs of a potential rise; the market is waiting for indications from global markets," said Juan Diedrich, an analyst with Capital Markets Argentina.

Sugar producer Ledesma LED.BA rose 7.8 percent to 4.67 pesos, while Telefonica of Argentina TEA2.BA shed 5.6 percent to 10.1 pesos.

Bond prices on the local market dipped 0.5 percent on average, hit by lingering concerns about the U.S. economy.

The session's losses were led by Boden 2012 bonds, which fell 0.9 percent.

In the foreign exchange market, the peso currency weakened as investors seeking refuge from falling bond prices bought U.S. dollars.

In formal interbank trade the peso shed 0.16 percent to close at 3.1425/3.145 per dollar ARS=RASL. In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso declined 0.08 percent to 3.1675/3.17 per dollar ARSB=. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Kevin Gray; Editing by Leslie Adler)