Argentina restarts ‘crawling peg’ to let currency weaken for first time since August

By Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s central bank allowed the peso to weaken slightly on Wednesday to 353 per dollar, traders said, reactivating its ‘crawling peg’ for the currency that has been frozen at 350 per dollar since a primary election in mid-August.

The currency, devalued sharply after the Aug. 13 primary, opened down 1.4% at 355 per dollar, though quickly adjusted slightly to 353, traders said. The embattled currency has been shackled by varying degrees of capital controls since 2019.

The Secretary of Economic Policy, Gabriel Rubinstein, had said last month on social network X, previously Twitter, that from Nov. 15 the peso would be put back on a crawling peg, ultimately allowing it to devalue by around 3% monthly.

Argentines will go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president between Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa and ultra-liberal outsider Javier Milei, who has proposed dollarizing the economy and shutting the central bank.

(Reporting by Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola; Writing by Adam Jourdan)