Argentina’s peso rallied for a third straight day on Wednesday, after high-interest short-term debt issued by the central bank soaked up liquidity, a strategy that has raised concern about the sustainability of the country’s program.
The he Argentine peso climbed more than 4% on Monday trading on the back of a debt sale by the central bank aimed at mopping up excess liquidity and signs that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is solidly behind the administration of president Mauricio Macri.
The International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, speaking at a news conference in New York alongside Argentine Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne, said IMF was “significantly frontloading” disbursements under the program adding the Argentine central bank had agreed as part of the deal to allow the peso currency to float freely and would only intervene in the foreign exchange market in extreme circumstances.
Argentine equities and the peso both lost ground on Monday as analysts said intervention in the foreign exchange market by the nation's central bank may prove less successful than originally hoped.
Argentina’s economy contracted 6.7% in June compared with the same month last year, and 1.3% compared with May, government statistics agency Indec said on Thursday. June was the third consecutive month of decline following 5.2% in May and 0.6% in April.
Argentine authorities have asked to use US$7.5 billion of the US$50 billion financing deal signed with the International Monetary Fund to fund their budget, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement. Argentina’s Finance Ministry said in a separate statement that the funds would be sold on the market through pre-announced daily auctions conducted by the central bank.
Argentina's Central Bank on Friday hiked its benchmark interest rate to 40% to support the peso, the third such hike in just over a week and one day after the currency plunged in value. Following the decision, the peso -- which has lost more than 10% of its value in the past month -- opened 6% higher against the dollar.
Argentina’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate at 27.25% this week, the monetary authority said in a statement, noting that high-frequency indicators suggested core inflation would remain high in April, but below March’s levels.
Argentina’s central bank cut its policy rate to 28% from 28.75%, two weeks after relaxing its 2018 inflation target, the bank said on Tuesday. The bank’s first rate cut in 14 months came after a December 28 news conference announcing an official inflation target for this year of 15%, up from the bank’s previous target range of 8% to 12%.
With trading much more relaxed on Friday ended the several days of money market uncertainty leading to Argentina Sunday´s primary election, an anticipation of what can happen in the midterm elections of 22 October when President Mauricio Macri's economic reforms will be put to test in the polls, and hopefully his coalition will increase its congressional support.