Argentine stocks lose 6% on oil price slide

Argentine stocks closed down 6.26 percent Monday, with energy companies leading the losses after US oil prices dipped below $50 a barrel for the first time since 2009.

The Merval stock index closed at 8,123.70 points, with Argentine state oil company YPF losing 7.01 percent and Brazilian oil giant Petrobras losing 10.77 percent.

Argentina is a natural gas producer with good oil prospects but currently remains a net oil importer. While some businesses benefit from cheap fuel, oil firms are already a major factor in the Buenos Aires stock exchange.

The Argentine peso shed 0.23 percent to 8.57 to the dollar.

Argentine stocks have been battered in recent weeks by sliding oil prices and domestic economic worries including spiraling inflation, an economic slowdown and a debt default.

Markets also sank Monday in Europe and the United States, weighed down by concerns about the eurozone and punishing losses for petroleum-related stocks.

Shares in Brazil’s Petrobras also took a beating at home, falling 8.89 percent to a decade low on the Sao Paulo stock exchange as the damage sank in from falling oil prices and a corruption scandal involving alleged kickbacks to top politicians.

That dragged Brazil’s Bovespa index down 2.05 percent to 47,516 points.


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