Argentine stocks rally on regional gains, peso weak

martes 25 de marzo de 2008 18:07 ART
 

BUENOS AIRES, March 25 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rallied on Tuesday as the benchmark index adjusted to greater market optimism after the Easter holiday, with steelmaker Tenaris leading gains.

The MerVal .MERV closed up 2.68 percent at 2,068.22 points after sliding 3.24 percent at the last close on Wednesday. Argentine markets were closed for the last three sessions.

"The MerVal is adjusting to the positive context in external markets over the last few days, specifically the rise of ADRs," said Hernan Labrone, an analyst at the Fenix brokerage in Buenos Aires.

The second day of a rebound in Brazil's Bovespa .BVSP also fueled the upswing in Buenos Aires, traders said.

The session's winners were led by Tenaris TENA.BA, the top global producer of seamless steel tubes for the energy industry. Its shares jumped 6.34 percent to 77.1 pesos per share.

Brazil's Petrobras APBR.BA gained 4.53 percent to 163.8 pesos, and Banco Macro BMA.BA rose 4.21 percent to 7.92 pesos.

On the broad market, volume was a moderate $31.5 million. Of the active issues, 57 advanced, 27 declined and 13 ended unchanged.

Government debt prices <AR/BONOS> fell 0.4 percent on average. The dollar-denominated Bonar V bond shed 3.3 percent, while the Discount bond denominated in pesos gained 0.8 percent in over-the-counter trade.

The Argentine peso fell against the dollar as exports were halted due to a farmers strike, meaning fewer dollars were on sale.

The peso weakened 0.16 percent to 3.1600/3.1625 ARS=RASL in formal interbank trade, where the central bank normally intervenes.

In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso ARSB= gave up 0.08 percent to 3.1750/3.1775 per dollar. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola; Writing by Gaspard Sebag; Editing by Dan Grebler)