November 11, 2008 / 8:48 PM / in 12 years

Argentine stocks slip for third day on global worries

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks fell for a third session in a row as Wall Street gloom spread to local heavyweight issues, while the peso ended flat and bonds did not trade.

The benchmark MerVal index .MERV slid 1.74 percent to 1,066.90 points. On the broad market volume was lackluster at $18 million and of active issues nine advanced, 36 declined and 16 ended unchanged.

Tenaris TENA.BA, a leading global maker of steel oil drilling equipment that is weighted as 20 percent of the MerVal, dropped 2.9 percent to 40.15 pesos.

“The MerVal is down because of the foreign context, mostly due to banks because that sector is weak in the United States and because of the high interest rates in Argentina, which show banks are having a hard time retaining deposits,” said Claudio Szlaien, analyst with Marlon Recursos Financieros in Buenos Aires.

Grupo Financiero Galicia GFG.BA, the financial group that holds the country’s biggest bank, fell 3.1 percent to 0.75 pesos, despite reporting on Tuesday a jump in third-quarter net profit to 66.3 million pesos, nine times the same period last year.

U.S. stocks slid on Tuesday as major companies provided grim outlooks and weak results, underscoring fears the economic slowdown will deepen.

There was no local trade in Argentine sovereign bonds on Tuesday because there were no reference prices as bond markets were closed in the United States for the Veterans Day holiday.

The peso currency closed unchanged at 3.2975/3.3000 per dollar ARS=RASL in formal interbank trade but slipped 0.3 percent to 3.3200/3.3300 ARSB= in informal trade between foreign exchange houses as measured by Reuters. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola, writing by Fiona Ortiz)

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