February 6, 2008 / 9:54 PM / 12 years ago

Argentina stocks down over recession fear in US

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks fell on Wednesday over fears that a recession in the United States would cross over to other countries.

The MerVal index .MERV of 42 leading stocks shed 0.74 percent to close at 2,039.51 points. Accumulated losses over the last two sessions total 2.16 percent.

Volume on the broad market was valued at a healthy $45.2 million, with 29 issues advancing, 40 retreating and 17 unchanged.

The highest percentage losers included steelmaker Tenaris TENA.BA, which dropped 3.13 percent to 61.9 pesos per share.

A top U.S. Federal Reserve official warned on Wednesday that inflation continues to be worrisome and estimated economic growth would be “relatively weak” in the first half of the year.

“The local market is not strong enough to sustain itself alone, and fears of recession in the United States push the market downwards,” said a broker.

Elsewhere in the region, Brazil’s Bovespa .BVSP index plunged 3.46 percent to 58,968.53.

On the local debt market, Argentine sovereign bonds <AR/BONOS> closed a modest 0.2 percent up on average.

The peso currency ARS=RASL closed 0.16 percent weaker at 3.1675/3.1700 per dollar, in formal interbank trade, where the central bank intervenes.

In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso ARSB= yielded 0.24 percent to close at 3.1775/3.18 per dollar. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Gaspard Sebag; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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