BUENOS AIRES, July 11 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks fell on Friday for the fourth straight session, following Wall Street lower and pressured by losses in banking shares, traders said.
The benchmark MerVal index .MERV shed 1.73 percent to end at 1,906.52 points, its lowest point since late January.
“We were very tied to Wall Street’s ups and downs,” an Argentine trader said.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed down 1.14 percent after earlier dipping under 11,000 points for the first time in two years.
The MerVal’s losses were fueled by banking group Grupo Financiero Galicia GFG.BA, which shed 3.28 percent to end at 1.47 pesos a share, and Banco Macro (BMA.BA) BMA.N, which fell 2.24 percent to 5.23 pesos in Buenos Aires.
Trading volume was a brisk $43 million. Of active issues, 20 rose, 71 fell and 17 were unchanged.
On the foreign-exchange market, the peso weakened further against the dollar as the central bank eased efforts to prop up the local currency.
In formal interbank trade, where the central bank regularly intervenes, the peso ARS=RASL weakened 0.17 percent to 3.0200/3.0225 per dollar.
In informal trade between foreign-exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso slumped 0.41 percent to 3.0750/3.0775 per dollar ARSB=.
“This shows the central bank has set a floor in the market of around 3.02 pesos per dollar,” a currency analyst said.
Meanwhile, Argentine bonds traded on the local market deepened their losses amid a four-month standoff between farmers and the government over a tax hike on soy exports.
Bonds fell 0.9 percent on average in over-the-counter trade, led by dollar-denominated Par paper ARPARD=RASL, which shed 2.2 percent according to the ask price. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Writing by Hilary Burke; editing by Gary Crosse)