July 14, 2008 / 9:30 PM / 12 years ago

Argentina stocks rise, boosted by Tenaris, Petrobras

BUENOS AIRES, July 14 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rose on Monday as firm global crude oil prices boosted energy-related shares, while bonds closed lower and the peso ended virtually flat.

The benchmark MerVal index .MERV gained 0.81 percent to close at 1,922.01 points, ending four straight sessions of losses that saw the bourse shed nearly 5 percent.

Steelmaker Tenaris TENA.BA (TS.N) — the world’s leading producer of seamless steel tubes for the energy industry — helped pace the MerVal, rising 1.62 percent to 109.7 pesos.

“Tenaris, along with Petrobras, helped the MerVal avoid the volatility on Wall Street and move more in line with regional markets like Brazil,” said Juan Diedrich, a trader at Capital Markets Argentina brokerage.

In Brazil, the Bovespa .BVSP rose 0.95 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 0.41 percent as investors worried about the health of the U.S. banking sector after the collapse last week of IndyMac Bancorp in one of the biggest bank failures in U.S. history.

On the MerVal, locally listed shares of Brazil’s state-run energy company Petrobas APBR.BA (PETR4.SA) rose 1.62 percent to 99.5 pesos.

Trading volume was a moderate $34 million. Among active issues, 50 fell, 26 rose and 19 were unchanged.

On the foreign exchange market, the peso closed steady as dollar sales by exporters were offset by local demand for the greenback.

In formal interbank trade, where the central bank regularly intervenes, the peso ARS=RASL weakened 0.08 percent to 3.0225/3.025 per dollar.

In informal trade between foreign-exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso rose 0.08 percent to 3.0725/3.075 per dollar ARSB=.

Argentine bonds traded on the local market closed lower as investors waited for the outcome of a Senate vote scheduled on Wednesday on a export tax hike on farm exports, the center of an ongoing conflict between farmers and the government.

Bonds fell 0.5 percent on average in over-the-counter trade, led by peso-denominated Par paper, which shed 0.4 percent. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Writing by Kevin Gray; editing by Gary Crosse)

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