First time in 40 monthsSaturday, March 1, 2014
Peso strengthens in February
The peso strengthened in February for the first time in 40 months, illustrating how the government has maintained a strong intervention in the currency following the steep 22 percent devaluation in January.
On the last day of the month, the wholesale peso strengthened 0.06 percent o 7.87 pesos per US dollar. The interbank peso rose 1.81 percent in February, marking the first time the local currency has strengthened since October 2010.
The official dollar rate also weakened, declining half a cent in banks and exchange bureaus to 7.885 pesos.
The Central Bank bought US$140 million yesterday, market operators told Reuters.
Meanwhile, the parallel, or so-called “blue”, dollar has also weakened this month, ending February with a 20-cent plunge to 11.25 pesos despite the long Carnival weekend.
It marked the fifth straight day of decline for the illegal currency that dropped 55 cents throughout the week.
In the Buenos Aires stock exchange, the Merval benchmark index increased 0.21 percent to 5,784.39 points, hardly enough to reverse the declining trend for the month. The Merval index naroowed 3.89 percent in the month.
The increase in the stock market on Friday was in large part due to energy companies that saw their shares rise after Economy Minister Axel Kicillof confirmed the government was getting ready to remove subsidies for public utilities for the wealthiest sectors of society.
Herald with Reuters, DyN