BUENOS AIRES, April 10 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks dipped on Thursday on lower raw materials prices, dragged down by steel-maker Siderar (SID.BA) after Venezuela’s government announced the nationalization of its sister company, Ternium Sidor.
The benchmark MerVal stock index .MERV fell 0.67 percent to 2,135.46 points.
“The market fell in line with raw materials and due to the persisting queasiness after the nationalization of (Ternium) Sidor and its effect on Siderar” said Mariano Tavelli, a trader at Tavelli & Co brokerage.
Shares of Siderar (SID.BA) fell 0.79 percent to end at 25 pesos per share. Siderar and Ternium Sidor are both units of Ternium (TX.N), a New York-listed company controlled by Argentine conglomerate Techint. Siderar also has an indirect 8.4 percent stake of Sidor.
Venezuela’s government said on Wednesday it would return steelmaker Ternium Sidor to state control.
Among the session’s losers was market heavyweight Tenaris TENA.BA, which is another member of the Techint family and also has a small stake in Sidor.
Tenaris is the top world producer of seamless steel tubes for the oil and natural gas industry. Its shares fell 1.75 percent to 81.25 pesos.
On the broad market, volume swelled to $51.8 million. Of the active issues, 40 declined, 19 advanced and 17 ended unchanged.
On the debt market, government bonds <AR/BONOS> rose 0.4 percent on investor speculation the government will announce a higher-than-expected inflation figure. The session’s losers were led by the dollar-denominated Boden 2014 bond, which gained 1.6 percent.
After the market closed, March inflation came in at 1.1 percent, in line with market expectation.
The peso closed up 0.08 percent to 3.1550/3.1575 ARS=RASL per dollar in formal interbank trade, where the central bank regularly intervenes.
In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso ARSB= weakened 0.39 percent to 3.1950/3.1975. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola; Writing by Gaspard Sebag; Editing by Dan Grebler)