Argentine President Mauricio Macri will announce new economic measures on Wednesday before markets open, following two days of economic turmoil triggered by an election upset by opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez, a presidential source said. The landslide victory by Fernandez in Sunday's primary election dealt a severe blow to Macri's reelection chances and roiled financial markets on fears Argentina could revert back to interventionist economic policies.
A presidential spokesperson confirmed the impending announcement by Macri. The peso closed 4.29% lower at 55.9 per U.S. dollar on Tuesday after touching 59 to the dollar earlier in the day. The currency had hit an all-time low on Monday of 65 to the dollar, a drop of 30%.
The meltdown in Argentina's currency, stocks and bonds - the worst since the South American country's 2001 debt crisis - sent shock waves through emerging markets. Fernandez, who has former President Cristina Fernandez as his running mate, pulled off a stunning upset in the primary with a wider-than-expected 15-point lead over Macri, a free-market proponent.
Macri vowed on Monday at a news briefing to "reverse the bad primary election result of yesterday" and win reelection in October. He had said he instructed his economic cabinet to prepare policies necessary for "caring for Argentines."
A scion of one of Argentina's wealthiest families, Macri came to power in 2015 on promises to kick-start Latin America's third-largest economy via a liberalization wave. But the promised recovery has not materialized and Argentina is in recession with inflation, which is running at 55%.
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