BUENOS AIRES, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks ended flat on Friday with thin trade volume cushioning local shares from a downturn in regional bourses, while bond prices slipped and the peso closed mixed.
The benchmark MerVal index .MERV ended unchanged at 1,777.14 points, accumulating a 7.4 percent loss in the month of August. In that last three months, the MerVal has shed 19.4 percent.
“It was a typical day at the end of the month, when investment funds selectively try to revalue some shares to improve their portfolios,” said Ruben Pascuali, a trader at Mayoral Bursatil brokerage.
“The key was the thin trade volume, which flattened the market,” he added.
Trade volume was a paltry $12.9 million. Of active shares, 64 rose, 35 fell and 11 were unchanged.
Steelmaker Siderar SID.BA led the MerVal’s losses, falling 3.3 percent to 25.10 pesos a share, while power transmission company Transener TRA.BA led gains, rising 6 percent to 1.06 pesos a share.
Argentine debt traded locally dipped 0.2 percent on average in over-the-counter trade, a day after the government bought back just $3.2 million worth of bonds in a formal auction.
The dollar-denominated Boden 2014 ARBODEN14D=RASL took the biggest hit, with its ask price falling 2.25 percent.
Traders said the fact that not many bondholders tendered their paper at current prices was a positive sign, showing they were willing to hold onto the debt despite recent turbulence.
The peso closed mixed, slipping 0.16 percent against the dollar to 3.0300/3.0325 ARS=RASL in interbank transactions and firming by the same percentage to 3.0625/3.0650 ARSB= in informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Walter Bianchi; Writing by Hilary Burke)