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ECONOMY | 23-04-2019 10:08

'Political uncertainty' responsible for turbulence in markets, says Dujovne

Dujovne attributes turbulence in the markets to political factors, with just six months to go before elections that could mark a change of government and political direction in the nation.

Facing the press, Economy Minister Nicolás Dujovne has declared that political uncertainty ahead of the upcoming presidential election this October is the main factor for increases in Argentina's country risk and instability on the exchange markets.

Dujovne attributed turbulence in the markets to political factors, with just six months to go before elections that could mark a change of government and political direction in the nation.

At a press conference at the ministry's headquarters, Dujovne said that the political issue is "the main factor playing today in country risk."

"The markets are not asking us for changes in economic policy, I think it is clear that what weighs most today is political uncertainty," the minister said.

On Monday, demand for foreign currency pushed to the peso to depreciate further, with the national currency trading at 43.69 pesos per US dollar (compared to 42.98, at which it closed the previous day). Meanwhile, the stock market lost 3.90 percent and Argentina's country risk indicator, as measured by JP Morgan, closed at 846 points, close to historic highs.

Six months before the October 27 elections, pollsters remain unclear as to the identity of Argentina's next president. Macri is seeking to renew his mandate until 2023. Last week, the pro-market government announced last week a battery of measures designed to halt the rise of inflation, improve purchasing-power and halt the flight of foreign currency.

Inflation, the main concern of most Argentines, reached 4.7 percent in March, bringing the accumulated total over the last 12 months to  54.7 percent.

The measures include a price freeze agreement for 64 basic products for six months, the blocking of public utility rises and maintaining, until the end of the year, the exchange rate within an immovable band of between 39.75 and 51.45 pesos per dollar.

"We are convinced about what we have to achieve in fiscal matters, because this is what will bring us macroeconomic stability," said Dujovne.

- TIMES/AFP

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