April 30, 2008 / 9:29 PM / 12 years ago

Argentina stocks boosted by Brazil, bonds rebound

BUENOS AIRES, April 30 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rose on Wednesday, buoyed by market gains in neighboring Brazil, while bonds rebounded and the peso currency closed stable.

Argentina’s financial markets will be closed on Thursday for the Labor Day holiday.

The benchmark MerVal index .MERV ended 1.23 percent higher at 2,095.53 points, rising on the back of shares linked to Brazil after Standard & Poor’s raised that country’s credit rating to investment grade.

Brazil’s Bovespa stock index .BVSP surged 6.3 percent to end at an all-time high, clocking the biggest one-day gain since November 2001.

“The MerVal was boosted by shares linked to Brazil ... for example, Petrobras and Alpargatas, which is controlled by Brazilians,” said Claudio Szlaien, an analyst at Marlon Recursos Financieros.

The local listing of Brazil’s state-run energy firm Petrobras APBR.BA gained 3 percent to close at 98.9 pesos per share in Buenos Aires. Textile company Alpargatas ALP.BA surged 3.6 percent to close at 4.6 pesos a share.

On the broad market, volume was moderate at $33.2 million. Among active shares, 49 advanced, 27 declined and 14 were unchanged.

On the debt market <AR/BONOS>, bonds traded locally gained 2 percent on average in selective trade, with dollar-denominated Par bonds jumping 3.5 percent.

“Heavy losses to bonds in the last few weeks make them attractive and so there’s speculative buying,” a trader said.

In informal trade between foreign exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso ARSB= closed unchanged at 3.2300/3.2325 per dollar.

In formal interbank trade ARS=RASL, where the central bank intervenes to stabilize the currency, the peso also ended even at 3.1625/3.1650 per dollar. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Walter Bianchi; Writing by Hilary Burke; editing by Gary Crosse)

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