Argentine stocks rally 3.5 percent in early trade

jueves 24 de enero de 2008 12:35 ARST

BUENOS AIRES Jan 24 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rallied in early trade on Thursday, mirroring the recovery of global stock markets on investor hopes that a rescue plan involving U.S.-based bond insurers will help avert further credit losses.

The MerVal .MERV index of 42 leading shares traded up 3.55 percent at 1,958.51 points at 12:28 p.m. (1428 GMT). The index closed down 2.69 percent on Wednesday.

On the foreign exchange market, the Argentine peso firmed. In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the currency was up 0.08 percent at 3.1825/3.185 per dollar ARSB=.

In formal interbank trade, where the central bank intervenes, the peso was also 0.08 percent stronger against the dollar at 3.1525/3.1550 ARS=RASL. (Reporting by Helen Popper, editing by Walker Simon)