As the US Dollar continues to charge higher so EM currencies have been pounded and after a long weekend, it appears to be Argentina that is suffering the most as the central bank of Argentina reportedly intervened in the local FX market today to mitigate peso’s depreciation... and failed...
Bloomberg reports that the central bank offered $100 million when the peso fell to 20.90/USD, according to the person.
The concerted sales is said to be up to $20 million so far.. but the peso keeps falling to 21 per USD - a new record low.
Note that the central bank declines to comment while the market is open; the central bank only reports its participation in the currency markets in a statement sent every night.
Bear in mind that this plunge in the peso follows a 300bps rate-hike last week!
Morgan Stanley analysts led by Fernando Sedano wrote in note:
"Both domestic and external factors are likely to test Argentine assets again, keeping volatility and risk premia high,"
Last week’s 300bp rate hike seen as "a strong commitment to macro normalization"
"Because Argentina has used almost two-thirds of the FX reserves acquired this year, we think any eventual FX volatility may have to dealt with via further hikes"
Bloomberg reports that Nomura said in a note today that "traders will need further signs from the Macri administration and from the central bank that there's commitment to lowering inflation and narrowing the deficit... it's important officials aren't tempted with pro-growth policies like in December/January. "