Argentina's Macri faces uphill race for re-election after weak primary
Argentina's Macri faces uphill race for re-election after weak primary
Following the results on Sunday Macri vowed to'redouble his efforts to ensure victory in October
13 August, 2019, 17:43
Argentina's peso currency collapsed on Monday and inflation was expected to rise as voters flirted with a return to interventionist economics by snubbing market-friendly Macri for the opposition in a primary vote on Sunday.
Argentina's 2028-maturing, euro-denominated bond was down nearly 9 cents in European trading Tradeweb data showed.
According to local media reports, Frente de Todos (Front for Everyone) party, led by former Prime Minister Alberto Fernandez, is in the lead with 47.7 percent of votes, followed by President Mauricio Macri's coalition Juntos por el cambio (Together for Change). Markets are anxious though his spending promises could put further strain on the country's finances and endanger future International Monetary Fund support.
Macri managed only 32 per cent in the party primaries, which that effectively acted as a nationwide pre-election opinion poll as all of the South American country's major parties had already chosen their presidential candidates.
Cristina Fernandez is now facing a series of trials for corruption during her 2007-2015 administration. The Global X MSCI Argentina ETF was down more than 22% in premarket trade Monday. She feuded with the country's key farm sector over export taxes and presided over a multi-year standoff with bondholders that kept Argentina locked out of the global capital markets.
Argentina's credit default swap - or the cost of hedging bonds against sovereign default - soared to a multiyear high.
Investors are now pushing the "sell" button, as many believe it will be impossible for President Mauricio Macri to win the upcoming election in October. It predicted "further downside pressure and volatility" in bond prices.
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A candidate needs at least 45% of the vote, or 40% and a difference of 10 percentage points over the second-place runner, in order to win the presidency outright.
However, Fernande added that he doesn't want to default on the country's debt. One of the risks to his support was newly impoverished Argentines who were more energized to vote to punish him at the polls, political analysts said.
"We've suffered a bad election", right-wing Macri said Sunday night, but vowed to "redouble" his efforts to secure the "real" elections in October.
But even by its standards, this market meltdown is unprecedented.
Backed by the IMF, Macri has initiated an austerity plan that is deeply unpopular among ordinary Argentines, who have seen their spending power plummet.
Bolsonaro has cast himself as foe to the left-wing leaders around Latin America and celebrated his friendship with Macri.
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