October 3, 2008 / 9:25 PM / 12 years ago

Argentine stocks, peso slip after U.S. bailout OKed

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Argentine stock prices slipped on Friday, following Wall Street and other regional markets lower as investor concerns over the global economy trumped the approval of a U.S. bailout plan.

The MerVal index of leading shares .MERV ended down 0.53 percent at 1,512.71 points, after surging by as much as 3.31 percent earlier in the session.

For the week, the MerVal shed 10.6 percent.

“It’s clear that there’s not much more that can be done to change the market trend, since after the U.S. bailout plan was approved investors looked to get liquid again,” said Augusto Farina, a trader at Amirante Galitis brokerage.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted in favor of a bailout plan for the financial sector.

The MerVal’s losses were led by Argentine financial group Grupo Financiero Galicia GFG.BA, which fell 3.92 percent to 1.47 pesos a share.

At the same time, index heavyweight Tenaris TENA.BA, which makes steel tubes for the energy industry, rebounded after a rough week, rising 1.15 percent to end at 52.9 pesos.

Volume on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange was a weak $23 million. Of active issues 25 advanced, 33 declined and 16 were unchanged.

Meanwhile, Argentine sovereign bonds traded locally rose 1 percent on average in over-the-counter trade after suffering heavy losses throughout the turbulent week.

The battered peso-denominated Par bond ARPARP=RASL gained 7 percent, according to the bid price.

Argentina’s debt spreads over similar U.S. Treasuries narrowed 63 basis points to 1,036 on the JPMorgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Plus (EMBI+) 11EMJ, compared with an all-time minimum of 180 basis points in early 2007.

The peso currency lost 0.55 percent in interbank trade ARS=RASL to end at 3.1600/3.1625 per U.S. dollar, reaching its weakest level since May.

In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso dipped just 0.08 percent to 3.1725/3.1750 per dollar ARSB=. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Hilary Burke; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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