Argentine peso falls 4.61% in opening trade

Buenos Aires (AFP) –


The Argentine peso fell 4.61 percent in opening trade Tuesday, signaling a return to the volatility that prompted the country's central bank to intervene last week to support the currency.

The peso declined to 23.41 to the dollar and the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange's Merval index followed suit, dropping 4.68 percent less than two hours after it opened.

Argentina's Central Bank on Friday raised its key interest rate to 40 percent to support the peso after it plunged 7.64 percent the day before.

The bank also lowered dollar reserve requirements for the nation's banks to inject liquidity in the currency markets.

On Monday, the peso appeared to stabilize, closing 0.22 percent down at 22.33 to the dollar.

But Tuesday's drop comes ahead of an expected Central Bank announcement on its key interest rate, amid continued market uncertainty.