Argentina’s central bank moved on Wednesday to improve its debt profile by offering to swap some of its one-month Lebac securities for paper of longer duration, the bank said in a statement.
The Bank of England has backed off from raising interest rates as it slashed 2018 growth forecasts, but said the economy would bounce back from a weather-hit “soft patch”. Policymakers kept the prospect of rate hikes firmly on the cards, although it sparked confusion over when the next increase may come.
The dollar hovered near a four-month high on Tuesday, continuing to draw support from higher Treasury yields and upbeat prospects for the U.S. economy, leaving its major rivals such as the Euro struggling and other Latin American currencies including the Argentine peso down sharply.
The markets of China, Ukraine, Argentina, South Africa and Turkey are the most vulnerable among all developing countries in terms of financing needs, reserve adequacy, asset valuation, institutional quality and trade resilience, according to a review by the analysts of the Institute of International Finance (IIF).
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.
China is taking its first steps towards paying for imported crude oil in Yuan instead of the U.S. dollar, according to Reuters, a key development in Beijing's efforts to establish its currency internationally.
The U.S. dollar extended its recent rout to hit three-year lows on Wednesday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he welcomed a weakening in the dollar. Fears of protectionist trade policies by the United States had already pushed the greenback to a three-year low, and Mnuchin’s remark at the annual Davos summit of business and political leaders pushed it down further.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri Tuesday said Argentines should not worry about the dollar, as the US currency rose 13 cents, closing at AR$ 17.18. It will benefit regional economies and job creation, he added during a radio interview.
The British Pound slumped lower on ongoing Brexit worries on Tuesday, while the US Dollar recouped some of its recent losses as investors wait for President-elect Donald Trump's first press conference Wednesday. While Trump's Twitter account has been active since he won the keys to the White House and given clues to his policies, Wednesday's press conference will give Trump the platform to explain his tax and spending plans.
The People's Bank of China (PBoC) weakened the Yuan against the dollar for a third consecutive day on Thursday, following reports the central bank intervened to stem the currency's sharp slide late on Wednesday. The PBoC set the Yuan fixing at 6.4010, compared to the previous day's close of 6.3870, sending the currency 0.7% lower to 6.43 per dollar in early trade.