S&P said on Friday it may lower Argentina's long-term foreign currency rating from its current B+ grade, which is four notches below investment grade -- and on par with Turkey, Greece and Fiji. The ratings company cited the risk of worsening creditworthiness and exchange rate volatility as potential threats to the economic adjustment measures undertaken by Mauricio Macri’s administration.
Argentina’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 300 basis points to 33.25% percent on Thursday, but the second steep rate increase in less than a week failed to stop the country’s peso currency from swooning to a record low. The local currency tumbled 7.83% to 23 per U.S. dollar. It had hit 21.2 to the greenback on Wednesday, the first trading day due to a holiday after the bank hiked the rate to 30.25% from 27.25% on Friday.
United Kingdom inflation remained at 3% in January, the same level as in December, as reported by the Office for National Statistics, ONS. In November it was the six year high of 3.1% and most economists were expecting a small fall in the CPI to 2.9%.
After last week's global rout, Asian markets struggled to hold early gains with analysts warning of further volatility across trading markets.
Brazil’s unemployment rate fell in July to its lowest level this year, 6% from 6.2% in June, reported the National statistics office. Average real wages rose 4% from a year ago to 1.613 Real (999.50 dollars) a month.
Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has said that China can control inflation and maintain its robust growth. Writing in the Financial Times, Mr Wen said price rises will be firmly under control this year.