August 15, 2023: Argentina’s markets jumped back after shock primary election results.
The moves were a bid by the administration to calm markets in the wake of the Argentinian congressman’s surprise victory, which gave him the biggest share of votes in the country’s presidential primary election at roughly 30%, far exceeding forecasts.
Markets had been betting on favorable results for moderate candidates. Argentina’s presidential election will be held in October.
Argentinian stocks and its sovereign dollar bonds were also lower Monday.
On Monday, the central bank said the peso would be held at 350 to the dollar until the October vote.
Milei, riding on a wave of popular discontent, has vowed to eliminate the central bank and dollarize Argentina’s economy. He has also advocated for sharp spending cuts.
Latin America’s third-largest economy, Argentina, has been mired in economic and financial crisis for years.
The country’s foreign reserves are shrinking fast, and its inflation is forecast at 142.4% for the year.
Argentina is on the brink of its sixth slump in a decade. Milei is a vocal critic of the corrupt political class, which says that the country’s leaders have thrown it from one crisis to another.
He believes returning the peso with the dollar could calm inflation, but many economists warn that it would trigger economic chaos.