November 12, 2007 / 9:11 PM / 13 years ago

Argentine stocks reverse gains, led by energy firms

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks slumped on Monday, pressured by losses among energy-related companies as crude prices fell and mirroring movement in markets in Brazil and Mexico, traders said.

The MerVal index .MERV of 25 leading stocks ended down 1.77 percent at 2,273.26 points, after rising more than 2 percent in the prior session.

The index was dragged down by Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras APBR.BA and Tenaris TENA.BA, which sells seamless steel pipes to the energy sector, after lower oil prices pushed their shares downward.

Brazilian stocks .BVSP ended 4.34 percent lower, also hurt by Petrobras losses related to disappointing quarterly earnings, and Mexican stocks .MXX were down 3.4 percent in late trade.

“The MerVal was more dependent on the fall in Brazilian stocks than on Wall Street’s ups and downs,” said Marcelo Paccione, an analyst at ConsultCapital.

“The fall in crude and gold prices led to a sell-off in industrial companies’ shares, which is why Tenaris and Brazil’s Petrobras pushed the MerVal lower,” he added.

Petrobras shed 9.2 percent in Buenos Aires to end at 158.50 pesos per share, while Tenaris’ stock shed 5.4 percent to close at 70.50 pesos per share.

Trade volume on the broad market was a robust 175.5 million pesos ($55.6 million). Of active shares, 20 rose, 59 declined and 16 were unchanged.

Argentina’s debt market <AR/BONOS> was closed for trading on Monday due to a holiday in the U.S. bond market.

The peso currency ARSB= firmed 0.31 percent to end at 3.1550/3.1575 per U.S. dollar in informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters.

In formal interbank trade, where the central bank regularly intervenes to keep the peso steady, the currency held steady at 3.1275/3.13 per dollar ARS=RASL. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Translated by Hilary Burke; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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