BUENOS AIRES, July 8 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks dipped on Tuesday and hovered near six-month lows as a drop in crude oil prices hit energy-related shares, traders said.
The benchmark MerVal index .MERV fell 0.38 percent to close at 1,947.78 points after shedding as much as 2.56 percent earlier in the session.
“The MerVal couldn’t follow external markets higher because of the weighty losses in Tenaris and Brazil’s Petrobras,” said Jorge Alberti, an analyst at online brokerage Elaccionista.com, referring to gains in U.S. and Brazilian stocks.
Index heavyweight Tenaris TENA.BA, a world leader in making steel tubes for the energy industry, shed 4.7 percent to end at 103.40 pesos per share in Buenos Aires.
Also hit by lower oil prices and profit-taking, Brazil’s Petrobras (APBR.BA) fell 3.8 percent to 98.10 pesos a share.
Trading volume was a brisk $37.5 million, and of active issues, 18 rose, 61 fell and 13 were unchanged.
Argentina’s financial markets will be closed on Wednesday for the country’s independence day holiday. Trading will resume on Thursday.
Argentine bonds traded on the local market slipped 0.2 percent on average as investors continued selling their risky assets amid global turbulence.
Losses were led by the dollar-denominated Par bond, which shed 1.1 percent. Traders said the market’s fall was cushioned by the peso-denominated Par paper, which rose on purchases from state-run banks and institutional investors.
On the foreign-exchange market, the peso closed mixed in quiet trade.
In formal interbank trade, where the central bank regularly intervenes, the peso ARS=RASL closed 0.08 percent stronger at 3.0125/3.0150 per dollar.
In informal trade between foreign-exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso weakened by 0.16 percent to end at 3.0550/3.0575 per dollar ARSB=. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Hilary Burke; Editing by Dan Grebler)