Argentina’s Merval Bucks LatAm’s Downward Shift

Oil prices shot up as tensions in Ukraine continue after Russia acknowledged separatist activity in the neighboring country

Members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces participate in firearm drills during training at a former asphalt factory on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. The U.S. has ramped up warnings of a possible Russian attack on Ukraine, Russian officials said no invasion of Ukraine was underway and none was planned. Photographer: Ethan Swope/Bloomberg
February 21, 2022 | 08:08 PM

A roundup of the region’s stock market results on Monday

🗽 On Wall Street:

U.S. futures fell on Monday, a day when stock markets were closed for a holiday, after diplomatic efforts to avoid an escalation in Europe collided with Vladimir Putin’s government’s recognition of two pro-Russian separatist enclaves, located in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

“I consider it necessary to take a long overdue decision: to immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic,” the Russian leader said.


Putin ordered Russian servicemen to move to both areas, to “ensure peace” in the region.

The recognition is an obstacle to diplomatic efforts that have intensified in recent days and that seek to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which the United States describes as “imminent”.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell to its lowest level since October, while the MOEX Russia index plunged as much as 14%.

“Global data and central banks’ stance on tightening are taking a back seat to Ukraine, with markets nervously awaiting the next headline,” Su-Lin Ong, head of economic and fixed-income strategy for Australia at Royal Bank of Canada, told Bloomberg.


🔑 Key Data of the Day:

Oil prices soared amid increased tension in Ukraine, and following the Russian acknowledgement both benchmarks were up more than 3%.

Crude oil has entered a period of volatility in recent weeks, amid the escalation between Ukraine and Russia and the possibility of a nuclear agreement being signed with Iran.

During the session, WTI rose 3.16% to $93.95, while benchmark Brent climbed 3.32% to $96.66.

“The commodity has been boosted after ministers from Arab oil-producing countries rejected calls for more pumping and said OPEC+ should honor the agreement to add 400,000 barrels a day,” said an analysis by Acciones & Valores, a Bogotá-based brokerage.

Bitcoin has experienced a real rollercoaster ride, and even traded below $38,000. After Putin’s speech, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization cut its losses and at 16:14 New York time was down 0.3% daily to $38,251.87.

🏅 The Leader:

Argentina’s Merval (MERVAL) broke away from the losses of most Latin American stock markets and the negative performance of U.S. futures, with the main indicator of the Argentine stock exchange closing with a gain of 0.66%, reversing its trend from the last two sessions, when it closed with losses, in line with the international performance.


The shares of Sociedad Comercial del Plata (COME), Grupo Supervielle (SUPV) and Transporte de Energía (TRAN) were among the best performers of the day.

“The local market is waiting for an early agreement with the International Monetary Fund for the restructuring of its debt, while the last details of the bill to be sent to Congress are being worked out. On the other hand, there are intentions to improve trade relations with the U.S. to boost food and beverage exports, with the aim of reducing the imbalance in the bilateral balance”, said Fernando Staropoli, an analyst at Rava Bursátil.

During the day, Economy Minister Martín Guzmán rejected via Twitter press reports that the agreement with the International Monetary Fund would imply a pension reform.

📉 A Bad Day:

Brazil’s Ibovespa (IBOV), the leading index of the largest stock exchange by market capitalization in Latin America, closed with the worst performance among its peers in the region, falling 1.02%.


With markets closed in the United States for a holiday, investors followed the fall of Americanas (AMER3) shares, whose websites are offline.


In a statement, the company said it suspended part of the servers in the e-commerce environment early Sunday morning after identifying “unauthorized access”.

The consumer non-core, information technology and consumer staples sectors had the biggest pullback.

The S&P BMV/IPC, the main indicator of the Mexican stock market, also performed negatively and closed with a 0.49% drop.


🍝 For the Dinner Table Debate:

Mergers and acquisition values in Latin America started the year with a setback, according to a Transactional Track Record and Datasite report. A total of 234 transactions took place in Latin America in January, including those announced and those that closed, with a total volume of $5.56 billion.

Although these numbers show an increase of 22% in the total number of transactions compared to the same month of 2021, there was a decrease of 42% in volume. The country with the highest volume of transactions was Brazil (176 transactions, 61% more than in the same month last year). On the negative side, in terms of value, there was a drop of 49%, with a total of $4.09 billion.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, 20 mergers and/or acquisitions were completed for a total of $447 million, which implies 100% more value than during the same month of last year.