Argentine stocks tumble on doubts over debt talks

BUENOS AIRES, June 19 Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:22am EDT

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BUENOS AIRES, June 19 (Reuters) - The Argentina stock market opened down 3.6 percent on Thursday after comments by Argentina's cabinet chief raised doubts that the country was still planning to negotiate with holdouts next week in order to avoid a fresh default.

Jorge Capitanich said Argentina had no delegation prepared for a "possible" trip to the United States to seek negotiations in the ongoing bond dispute, though he did not say the talks were off.

The Merval stock index had closed up 2.9 percent on Wednesday after a lawyer representing the country said it would negotiate for the first time with holdout investors next week, spelling the possible end of a long debt battle. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Sarah Marsh; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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