BUENOS AIRES, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks dropped to their lowest level in a week on Monday in very low volume, as top-weighted Tenaris slid with slumping oil prices.
The benchmark MerVal index .MERV slid 4.35 percent to 1,128.17 points. Volume was almost insignificant at $9 million. Of active issues four advanced, 41 declined and 14 were unchanged.
Steel pipe maker and market bellwether Tenaris (TENA.BA) TS.N slumped 5 percent to 38.45 pesos per share. Tenaris, which supplies the oil industry, is weighted as 34.5 percent of the Merval.
“Once again the emerging (markets) are under pressure because of weak prices for raw materials, because along with oil, metals are also down, which hits steel (issues),” said Marcelo Trovato, analyst with Caja Social de Inversiones brokerage.
On Monday oil settled down nearly 8 percent, below $38 per barrel on the growing impact of the global economic slowdown on demand.
Argentine bonds traded on the local over-the-counter market inched up 0.4 percent in low volume as investors waited for news on whether the government will try to swap some short term debt.
The dollar-denominated Bonar 2013 ARBONAR13D=RASL bond rose 2.7 percent to an ask price of 37.
On the foreign exchange market the peso currency closed flat in low volume. In the interbank market the peso ended unchanged at 3.4475/3.4500 per dollar ARS=RASL.
In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso firmed 0.43 percent to 3.5150/3.5200 ARSB=. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Walter Bianchi, writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Leslie Adler)