January 23, 2009 / 8:57 PM / 11 years ago

Argentine stocks rise on bellwether Tenaris

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rose on Friday, buoyed by energy-related shares as crude oil prices surged, traders said.

The benchmark MerVal index .MERV gained 0.82 percent to 1,066.51 in a volatile session. The MerVal fell nearly 3 percent over the course of the week.

On the broad market, volume was a paltry $8.3 million. Of active issues, 21 advanced, 20 declined and 10 were unchanged.

Shares of index heavyweight Tenaris TENA.BA, which makes steel tubes for the energy industry, rose 1.7 percent to 35.60 pesos. Tenaris accounts for more than one-third of the MerVal’s weighting and often moves along with U.S. crude futures, which settled more than 6 percent higher on Friday.

Argentine government bonds traded over the counter in Buenos Aires rose 0.9 percent on average, led by the dollar-denominated Boden 2014 ARBODEN14D=RASL, which rebounded by 3.5 percent to an ask price of 11.80.

A government source told reporters on Friday that local banks, insurance companies and other institutions could tender some $2.8 billion in so-called guaranteed loans in exchange for new, longer-dated bonds — reducing the government’s 2009 debt payments by $860 million.

The swap will be finalized next week.

On the foreign exchange market, the peso closed stable to weaker against the dollar.

In formal exchange between banks, where the central bank intervenes nearly every day to avoid abrupt swings, the peso slipped 0.14 percent to 3.4775/3.4800 per dollar ARS=RASL.

In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso was steady at 3.5175/3.5200 ARSB=. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Writing by Hilary Burke, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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