BUENOS AIRES, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rose on Tuesday as banks got a boost from government plans to buy back debt which could bolster the prices for the banks' large sovereign holdings.
The MerVal index .MERV closed 0.88 percent higher at 1,760.17. Volume was moderate at $36 million. Of active issues 22 advanced, 68 declined and 20 were unchanged.
Grupo Financiero Galicia (GFG.BA), the financial group that owns the country's largest bank, jumped 3.7 percent to 1.4 pesos per share. Galicia is weighted as 6.21 percent of the MerVal.
"Due to rising prices for some (local) bonds, we're seeing investors more disposed to participate in some sectors," said Leopoldo Olivari, trader with Bacque Sociedad de Bolsa brokerage.
Bond prices rose a day earlier, on expectation of a new weekly government auction to buy back debt. But on Tuesday prices were mixed as investors waited for details.
On average, government debt inched up 0.2 percent on the local market, with some bonds rising. But the dollar-denominated PAR bond slumped 1.5 percent.
The peso currency closed unchanged at 3.0250/3.0275 per dollar ARS=RASL in interbank trade and at 3.0675/3.0700 ARSB= in informal trade between foreign exchange houses as measured by Reuters. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola, writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by James Dalgleish)