The peso lost ground the US dollar yet again on a day of high volatility in the foreign exchange market that wasn’t quieted by President Mauricio Macri’s announcement of the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for financing.
Having closed down on the dollar yesterday, today the peso careened between lows of 23.50 and a high of 22.30 on the back of continued demand for the US dollar as well as the market’s reaction to Macri’s announcement and subsequent press conference from Treasury Minister Nicolás Dujovne.
After initially appreciating against the dollar following Macri’s announcement, the peso lost ground again until a late surge meant that the peso closed at 22.90. As the peso closed yesterday at 22.33 pesos to the dollar, today’s trading meant another 2.55 percent single-day slide.
[infogram id=”9011089c-3eaa-4a19-876f-a10421b07c6d” prefix=”B8E” format=”interactive” title=”USD/ARS Exchange Rate + Central Bank Reserves, 2018″]
El Cronista and Infobae have reported that the late surge for the peso at the end of trading was a result of the Central Bank (BCRA) deciding to intervene in the futures market for the first time in the Macri era. While the BCRA has not confirmed that it was active in the futures market, sources cited by the publications indicated that the patterns of buying strongly suggested that it was the monetary authority that was behind a series of purchases focusing on contracts for the end of May.
Without those contracts the exchange rate would likely have finished above the symbolically significant 23 pesos to the dollar.
The volatility in the foreign exchange market was mirrored by the Merval stock exchange index, which ended down 5.2 percent and the country risk shot up to the highest level during the Macri administration, according to Clarín.