October 30, 2007 / 9:47 PM / 13 years ago

Argentine stocks end stable despite US rate worries

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks closed essentially flat on Tuesday despite drops on global markets amid investor concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve may not cut interest rates at its upcoming meetings, traders said.

The MerVal index .MERV of 25 leading stocks edged up 0.08 percent to 2,339.09 points.

“With trade volume back up, the MerVal was fully equipped to deal with the downturn of international markets,” said Dionisio Corneille, a trader at the firm that bears his name.

Trade volume totaled a healthy 137.7 million pesos ($43.1 million). Of active shares, 43 advanced, 37 declined, and 13 were unchanged.

Gains were led by electrical company Central Puerto CEP.BA, which jumped 5.0 percent to close at 6.02 pesos per share, and energy firm Pampa Holding PAM.BA, which was up 1.81 percent at 2.82 pesos per share.

Argentine debt <AR/BONOS> slipped a slight 0.3 percent on average as investors took profit ahead of Wednesday’s Fed meeting to determine U.S. interest rates.

On the Buenos Aires market, peso-denominated Discount paper dropped 1.5 percent, while Par bonds in dollars were up 1.1 percent.

The peso currency ARSB= firmed 0.16 percent to 3.1900/3.1925 per U.S. dollar in informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters.

In formal interbank trade, where the central bank regularly intervenes to keep the peso steady, the currency strengthened by 0.24 percent to 3.1475/3.1500 per dollar ARS=RASL.

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