Argentine stocks, bonds weaker on central bank row

miércoles 27 de enero de 2010 14:53 ART
 

* Stocks, bonds, peso weaker on central bank tension

* Investors watching for opinion from Congress

BUENOS AIRES Jan 27 (Reuters) - Argentina's financial markets fell on Wednesday in light trade due to investor caution over an ongoing dispute between the president and the head of the central bank.

A special congressional commission is debating President Cristina Fernandez's decision to fire Central Bank chief Martin Redrado for blocking her order to use $6.6 billion in foreign currency reserves to repay debt.

Local media said Redrado was expected to address the commission later on Wednesday and traders were waiting for the commission to give its opinion, which could signal an end to the leadership crisis at the bank. For details see [ID:nN26106007]

"Political issues continue to affect the market and this is seen through the light volume even though most people assume that Redrado won't go back to the Central Bank," one trader said.

The benchmark MerVal .MERV stocks index was down 0.46 percent to 2,298.54 points.

Government bonds trading over the counter in Buenos Aires were down by an average of 0.8 percent. Dollar-denominated Disc paper ARDISCD=RASL was down 1.2 percent.

"The market's waiting the congressional commission's decision," Hernan Labrone, an analyst for consulting firm Fenix Compania Financiera, said, adding that global economic jitters were also weighing on the local market.

On the foreign exchange market, the peso was down 0.13 percent at 3.8875/3.8925 per U.S. dollar ARSB= in informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters.

In formal interbank trade, the peso was also down 0.13 percent at 3.8175/3.8200 per dollar ARS=RASL. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Luis Andres Henao; Editing by Diane Craft)