March 5, 2008 / 9:20 PM / 12 years ago

Argentine stocks gain on Tenaris, bonds rise

BUENOS AIRES, March 5 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rose on Wednesday, lifted by institutional investor interest in heavyweight Tenaris, a top global maker of steel tubes for the oil and gas industry.

The benchmark MerVal index .MERV ended up 2.22 percent to 2,182.11 points, halting three consecutive sessions of losses.

“Strength from Tenaris pulled the MerVal forward and generated a contagious effect toward other shares despite Wall Street’s volatility,” said Diego Zavaleta, a trader at Besfamille brokerage.

Shares in Tenaris TENA.BA (TS.N) closed up 4.96 percent to 78.25 pesos per share.

The MerVal “is showing firmness thanks to oil-related shares, but the market could begin to show volatility due to a lack of stability in international markets,” said Marcelo Paccione, an analyst at ConsultCapital brokerage.

Volume on the broad market totaled $44.2 million, and of the active issues, 46 advanced, 28 declined and 17 were unchanged.

Meanwhile, government debt prices <AR/BONOS> rose 0.7 percent on average. The session’s winners were led by the peso-denominated Par bond, which gained 2.0 percent, and the dollar denomination of the same bond, jumping 1.9 percent.

The peso firmed 0.08 percent to close at 3.1500/3.1525 per dollar ARS=RASL in formal interbank trade, where the central bank normally intervenes.

However, in informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso ARSB= weakened 0.16 percent to 3.1750/3.1775 per dollar. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola; Writing by Gaspard Sebag; Editing by Diane Craft)

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