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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 08 March 2019

In brief: Argentina

* Argentina’s central bank (BCRA) has once again intervened in the local currency market and reactivated its daily purchase of pesos to try to contain the depreciation of the currency against the US dollar. BCRA’s move comes as the exchange rate once again started to move down towards the lower limit of the exchange rate band of Ar$50.19/US$1, sparking concerns about another run on the peso. With the peso depreciating by 9.5% this week to trade at a record low of Ar$43.50/US$1, the BCRA has already purchased Ar$130bn in the local currency market, or 8% of the monetary base, this week to try to contain the peso via the issue of short-term ‘liquidity notes’ (Leliqs) offering an interest rate of 51.8%, up from 50.5% previously.