June 5, 2008 / 9:24 PM / 12 years ago

Argentine stocks surge as tube-maker Tenaris soars

BUENOS AIRES, June 5 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rebounded on Thursday after five straight sessions of losses, led by a 10 percent rise in shares of Tenaris, which makes tubes for the energy industry, amid a record jump in crude oil prices.

The peso firmed against the dollar and bonds continued inching higher.

The benchmark Merval stock index .MERV gained 2.25 percent to end at 2,189.60 points. Volume on the overall market was a healthy $33 million.

“Without a doubt, Tenaris’s strength was the Merval’s main driver,” said Juan Ignacio Di Santo, a trader at Puente Hermanos brokerage.

Shares of Tenaris TENA.BA (TS.N), the top global supplier of seamless steel tubes for the energy industry, surged 10.4 percent to 103.8 pesos in Buenos Aires, a day after the company announced dividend payments.

Its shares were also supported by a record $6 gain in U.S. crude oil prices.

Tenaris said in a statement on Wednesday its shareholders had approved the payment of an annual dividend of 38 cents per share, or about $450 million [ID:nHUGBQROSa]. Part of this sum was already paid and the company will pay the remaining $295 million on June 26.

The company’s stock also trades in New York, Milan and Mexico City (TS.N) (TENR.MI) TS.MX.


Argentina’s peso resumed its upward trend, firming as private banks, exporters and the central bank sold greenbacks. Traders said private investors moved to cut their losses in anticipation that the dollar would fall further.

In formal, interbank trade ARS=RASL, the peso hit an 18-month high, strengthening 0.24 percent to close at 3.0625/3.0650 per dollar.

The currency firmed 0.32 percent to end at 3.1500/3.1525 per dollar in informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters ARSB=.

A nearly three-month, bitter standoff between the government and farmers has created uncertainty in Argentina and was pressuring the peso lower until the central bank began flooding the market with dollars to reverse the trend.

Government bonds sold locally <AR/BONOS> rose 0.3 percent on average in a quiet session. Traders said investors are lured by bargain-basement prices after steep recent losses.

Gains were led by the dollar-denominated Discount bond, which rose 0.9 percent, while dollar-denominated Par bonds shed 1.1 percent in over-the-counter trade. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Walter Bianchi; Writing by Hilary Burke; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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