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BCRA will raise the rate to 50% to keep the dollar in February

Source: Reuters

The Central Bank (BCRA) today decided to give itself the opportunity to increase 50% of the purchase intervention in the foreign exchange market in February to better respond to the positive signals it sees on demand and as much as possible. to avoid an exchange rate increase that would make little use of an economy that has already set its domestic prices at a higher dollar parity.

This decision was taken a few minutes ago by the Monetary Policy Committee (COPOM), increasing from a total of $ 50 million to $ 75 million in the total "own allowable" daily amount for purchases under the current monetary scheme (even $ 150 million) for each bike, if you want, every time the wholesale dollar price is lower than the free floating zone, which was from $ 37.86 to $ 48.99 a day.

This was after a day when the peso, along with the other new currencies, deepened its tendency to overestimate the signal that the US Federal Reserve (FED) issued the day before yesterday, retaining this economic reference rate. unchanged (ranging from 2.25 to 2.5% per year).

But all the more so because this body admitted that it did not plan for new upward adjustments, and even at the time of evaluation it would be "cautious", the word it repeated 11 times in its statement. This indicates that the "prize" does not increase as it stays in that currency, which has led to the capital cities increasing their positions in other currencies.

For this reason, the dollar price dropped from $ 37.51 to $ 37.35 (0.45%) for wholesale (and from $ 38.57 to $ 38.27 for retail), despite having bought BCRA early US $ 24 million (after $ 20 million before the $ 20 million pre-war intervention) and at least $ 36.90 after reaching the mark up to the official purchase.

From the level that returned in the afternoon, when there was rumor that it would increase efforts to support it from tomorrow, although for some analysts it was incomplete, given the general market context.

With this closure, the ticket stood at 1.33% below the "floor" of the flotation even when BCRA took out $ 1,700 million of turnover from Leliq (which reached $ 14.80 million in securities and placed $ 145,000 million) and accelerated the plus the rate of decline, which remained at an average of 53.687%, almost 1.2 points lower than yesterday.

Thus, this sensitive indicator, which covers bank financing costs, is shrinking by more than 3 points over six days, almost 2 points below the 55% average that was supposed to close in January. assumptions that led to the last agreement with the IMF and accumulated 557 basis points in January, which was 59.25% per annum.

With its debt liquidity bill (Leliq), the BCRA generally absorbed $ 20,769 million in a month, but at the same time it raised a similar figure when buying dollars. "In the first three weeks of January, it started with $ 134,767 million with Leliq, and the last 2 weeks went from $ 113,998 million," said financial advisor Jeremí Morlandi on Twitter.

The acquisition of dollars in a plan that has been in force since the beginning of October has focused on improving the supply of pesos.

In January, BCRA made 13 auctions of $ 560 million, complementing the reserves that receive real contributions in this way, because today they consist mainly of private deposits or reserves. "As these purchases were made at an average of US $ 37.28, they amounted to US $ 20.876 million and helped mitigate the February monetary target by 1.55%," explains economist Gabriel Caamaño Gómez of Estudio Ledesma.

This amount represented 77.3% of the quota which was allowed to increase in PB (it set a ceiling of 2%, which means purchases of about $ 680 million) in January.

Now, in order to adjust it to the higher allowable intervention volume, it found that it would be able to approve an increase to 3% WB per month (set at USD 1372 000 million per month) on that route.

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