October 23, 2007 / 4:02 AM / 13 years ago

Argentina stocks slide on external market concerns

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks and bonds closed with losses on Friday as renewed U.S. economic concerns about the subprime mortgage market prompted heavy selling in emerging markets, traders said.

The MerVal index .MERV of 25 leading stocks dropped 1.47 percent to close at 2,236.87 points.

As oil fell off record prices oil-related companies led stock losses in Buenos Aires, with Brazilian state oil company Petrobras APBR.BA slipping 7.21 percent to 127.5 pesos per share.

Market bellwether Tenaris TENA.BA, the world’s biggest producer of steel pipes for the oil industry, lost 1.81 percent to close at 81.5 pesos per share.

“The volatility of raw materials, together with concerns about a slowing down of the U.S. economy, is provoking heavy losses in other global markets that then pull down the MerVal,” said Claudio Szlaien, an analyst with Marlon Financial Resources.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI gave up 2.64 percent. In Latin America, Brazilian stocks .BVSP lost 3.74 percent and Mexican stocks .MXX dropped 3.08 percent.

“In an international context of notable losses, the Argentine market is doing well, since pension funds’ contributions to the heavy trade volume moderated the impact,” added Leopoldo Olivari, a trader with Bacque brokerage.

Volume on the broad market was a hefty $44.4 million. Among active issues, 33 advanced, 38 declined and 17 were unchanged.

At the same time, Argentine sovereign bonds <AR/BONOS> on the local market slipped by 1.5 percent on average as they were hit by the same renewed concerns about U.S. economic health.

Discount bonds incurred the session’s biggest losses, with the peso-denominated discount dropping 2.4 percent and the dollar discount down 1.5 percent.

The peso currency recovered lost ground against the dollar, buoyed by central bank intervention.

In trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the currency firmed 0.55 percent to close at 3.2050/3.2075 per U.S. dollar ARSB=.

In formal interbank trade, where the central bank regularly intervenes, it was flat at 3.16/3.1625 per dollar ARS=RASL.

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