EMERGING MARKETS-Argentine peso drops 10 pct even after…

By Bruno Federowski BRASILIA, Aug 30 – The Argentine peso plummeted 10 percent on Thursday even after bouncing off its session low when the central bank yanked up interest rates, and the latest day of the currency’s sell-off drove widespread losses across emerging market assets. The bank lifted rates to 60 percent from 45 percent in a bid to control inflation running at more than 31 percent as the currency reaches new all-time lows on a daily basis. The moves came a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called for stronger monetary and fiscal policies in response to the meltdown of the peso, which has lost 52.2 percent of its value against the greenback so far this year. Despite signing a $50 billion standby financing deal with the IMF earlier this year, President Mauricio Macri is struggling to convince the markets that he can spur economic growth while he cuts fiscal deficits and combats inflation. The peso fell as much as 15.6 percent on Thursday to a record low, by far the largest decliner amid weaker Latin American currencies. Still, the benchmark Merval stock index rose 2.1 percent, driven by export-oriented firms which would benefit from a lower peso. In Latin America, the Brazilian real was the second biggest decliner as it also suffered the effect of growing concerns over the October presidential elections. A string of voter intention polls have shown business favorite Geraldo Alckmin stuck in the single-digits. Jailed former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has consistently led the ballot, followed by far-right lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1520 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 1070.53 -0.01 -7.59 MSCI LatAm 2510.69 0.29 -11.23 Brazil Bovespa 77349.19 -1.33 1.24 Mexico IPC 49663.93 -1.04 0.63 Chile IPSA 5271.40 -0.5 -0.50 Argentina MerVal 25935.22 2.11 -13.74 Colombia IGBC 12246.19 0.02 7.70 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 4.1852 -1.71 -20.83 Mexico peso 19.1425 -1.00 2.91 Chile peso 676.7 -1.39 -9.17 Colombia peso 3022.32 -0.80 -1.33 Peru sol 3.293 0.00 -1.70 Argentina peso (interbank) 37.9000 -10.03 -50.92 Argentina peso (parallel) 34.05 -2.20 -43.52 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by David Gregorio)

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