Argentina's central bank said on Monday that it hiked bank reserve requirements by 3 percentage points, following a hike of three percentage points on June 18 as monetary policymakers seek to calm inflation and end a run on the peso currency. The Peso gained 1.9% on Monday against the dollar.
The Argentine Peso plummeted to a new low on Monday despite government attempts to curb losses in recent weeks by hiking interest rates and shedding billions in foreign reserves. The Peso fell sharply on opening Monday and closed down 6.2%, trading at 25.52 against the dollar, having lost close to 33% so far this year.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook update for April 2018 has reduced its expectations of growth for Argentina this year, and its projected annual inflation rate largely exceeds the 15% goal set by president Mauricio the Macri administration in December 2017.
Argentines will have to get used to the volatility of the money exchange rate, advised Central Bank president Federico Sturzenegger on Wednesday when the US dollar (a sacred reference for Argentines) reached a new historic high above the 20 Pesos. (Actually 20,69 for retail sales and 20,69 for wholesale operations at the end of trading).
The Argentine primary next Sunday when the different parties will choose their candidates for the midterm elections of 22 October, and the possibility of a comeback of ex president Cristina Fernandez, and all that she represents, has cost the Argentine central bank so far over a billion dollars in the last ten days.
Argentina's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the second time in two weeks in a surprise move amid market expectations it would hold steady after a high inflation reading and U.S. elections last week.
Argentina’s international currency reserves rose above the landmark US$40 billion for the first time in three and a half years last Friday, as a huge inflow of dollars from government-issued debt and some exports over the last few days caused some dramatic increases this week. The milestone, according to Central Bank chief Federico Sturzenegger, was “a sign of growing investor confidence in the country.”
Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez was charged on Friday with defrauding the state as part of her government's handling of the dollar futures market. Federal judge Claudio Bonadio said that a scheme to keep the Argentine peso inflated by selling dollars below market value would not have been possible without Fernandez's approval.
Argentina will issue a fresh round of dollar-denominated debt notes worth an estimated US$8 billion in the next few days, top officials from the Finance Ministry confirmed. The government will “very soon” issue a new Treasury note to capture dollars that are being stored “under the mattress” in a process that will kick off with a meeting with bankers, Finance Secretary Luis Caputo said.The Argentine government hopes to bring in US$5 billion through the issuance.
Hundreds of supporters are expected to cheer former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez during a court appearance on Wednesday after returning to Buenos Aires for the first time since November's election.Fernandez who governed Argentina for eight years, has been called to testify about alleged irregularities in dollar futures trading that led to losses of almost US$4 billion for the central bank. Her allies say no crime was involved and that she's being politically persecuted.