Argentine stocks end day lower, gained 3 pct in '07

viernes 28 de diciembre de 2007 18:21 ART

BUENOS AIRES Dec 28 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks closed slightly lower on Friday, ending a year marked by volatility and the impact of a financial crisis stemming from credit worries in the U.S. subprime mortgage market.

The MerVal index .MERV of the 25 leading stocks slipped 0.76 percent to end at 2,151.73 points.

The market will be closed on Monday and Tuesday for the New Year holidays. It will reopen on Wednesday, but trading hours will have jumped forward an hour to compensate for daylight savings, which goes into effect on Sunday.

The new trading hours will be from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. local time (1400 to 2000 GMT), instead of from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daylight savings ends March 16 and will likely resume next October.

The MerVal rose about 3 percent during the year, cutting gains since hitting a record high in October as fallout from the global financial crisis expanded.

Among Friday's biggest losers was energy group Pampa Holding (PAM.BA: Cotización), which shed 3.2 percent to end at 2.43 pesos.

"We had an unusual session as investment funds looked to close their annual positions, which meant share prices moved abruptly in the last minutes of trading," said Dionisio Corneille, trader at a firm that bears his name.

On the broad market, volume was robust at $82 million and of active issues 35 advanced, 27 declined and 16 were unchanged.

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