October 23, 2007 / 2:50 AM / 13 years ago

Argentina stocks edge lower after four-day rally

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks slipped on Wednesday due to profit-taking after four straight sessions of gains, following global markets’ retreat from record highs, traders said.

The MerVal index .MERV of 25 leading stocks fell 0.63 percent to close at 2,277.44 points, after having booked gains of 1.7 percent in the prior four sessions.

“Big investors disappeared from the scene ... and with that we saw well-ordered and selective profit-taking,” said Claudio Szlaien, an analyst at Marlon Financial Resources.

On the broad market, volume was a light 63.2 million pesos ($20 million). Among active issues, 28 advanced, 41 declined and 15 were unchanged.

Among the MerVal’s losers were clothing maker Alpargatas ALP.BA, which saw its stock fall 5.42 percent to 5.24 pesos because investors were unhappy with a buyout offer by Brazil’s Sao Paulo Alpargatas.

The gainers were led by the local listing of Brazilian energy giant Petrobras APBR.BA, which rose 3.1 percent to 133 pesos.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials .DJI closed down 0.61 percent after Tuesday’s record close, while Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa .BVSP slipped 0.55 percent from its own all-time high.

Argentine sovereign debt <AR/BONOS> closed mixed, after profit-taking early in the session was followed by later opportunistic buying.

On average, bonds edged up 0.2 percent, with dollar-denominated Par paper gaining 0.6 percent and dollar Boden 14’s slipping by the same margin in over-the-counter trade.

The peso firmed in interbank trade as exporters sold a larger quantity of dollars, reducing the need for the central bank’s routine intervention, traders said.

In formal interbank trade, where the central bank intervenes, the peso firmed 0.24 percent to 3.1525/3.155 per dollar ARS=RASL.

However, in trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso weakened by 0.08 percent to 3.1975/3.2 per U.S. dollar ARSB=, it’s lowest level since the second half of September.

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