Argentina stocks inch higher, bonds get a boost

martes 25 de noviembre de 2008 19:09 ARST

BUENOS AIRES Nov 25 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks closed slightly higher on Tuesday in a volatile session in which buyers snapped up shares at the last minute, traders said.

The benchmark MerVal index .MERV closed up 0.49 percent at 906.39 points after jumping 8.8 percent a day earlier. Stocks fell as far as 1.35 percent earlier on Tuesday.

"The session reflected the ups and downs of a volatile day on Wall Street," said Jorge Alberti, an analyst at online brokerage

The MerVal has shed 10.4 percent of its value since Nov.1 and 58 percent since the start of the year.

Tuesday's gains were led by Telecom Argentina TEC2.BA (TEO.N: Cotización), which jumped 12.6 percent to 5.46 pesos a share.

On the broad market, volume was a moderate $32 million.

More than 70 percent of the day's trade was in Tenaris shares (TENA.BA: Cotización) (TS.N: Cotización). Shares in the maker of steel tubes for the energy industry fell 4.8 percent to 33 pesos in Buenos Aires, a day after surging more than 18 percent.

Of active issues, 16 advanced, 34 declined and 10 were unchanged.

Meanwhile, locally-traded government bonds rose 2.7 percent on average in over-the-counter trade, according to the ask price, in a third straight session of gains.   Continuación...