February 18, 2008 / 9:02 PM / 12 years ago

Argentine stocks up in calm trade due to US holiday

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks closed up on Monday, in limited trade due to the Presidents’ Day holiday in the United States.

The MerVal index .MERV of 42 leading stocks rose 1.04 percent to close at 2,060.50 points, accumulating a 2.65 growth in February.

“The Argentine market, not counting ADRs (Argentine companies’ shares listed in New York), focused on local shares with an exporting profile such as Molinos and Indupa,” said Hernan Labrone, a broker at Fenix Compania Financiera brokerage.

Food producer Molinos MOL.BA rose 2.93 percent to 12.3 pesos per share and petrochemical firm Indupa INU.BA gained 2.26 percent to 4.98 pesos.

Volume on the broad market was a modest $22.7 million, with 39 issues advancing, 11 retreating and 16 unchanged.

On the local debt market, Argentina’s main sovereign bonds <AR/BONOS> remained virtually inactive due to the U.S. holiday.

The peso currency ARS=RASL weakened 0.08 percent to end at 3.1525/3.1550 per dollar in formal interbank trade, where the central bank normally intervenes.

In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso ARSB= firmed 0.08 percent to close at 3.1725/3.1750 per dollar. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Gaspard Sebag; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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