September 25, 2018 / 3:39 PM / 8 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Argentine peso drops after chief resigns

    SAO PAULO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The Argentine peso tumbled
more than 4 percent on Tuesday in light trading, after the
nation's central bank chief quit amid reports of disagreements
with Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne.
    The move by Luis Caputo to leave his post took the market by
surprise, causing jitters as the central bank is trying to stem
a rapid devaluation of the peso currency. While the government
said his resignation was due to personal reasons, local media
reported that it came amid policy disagreements.
    Caputo was the second central bank chief in Argentina to
resign over the last four months. He had replaced former central
bank head Federico Sturzenegger in July.
    The peso fell some 4.77 percent in midday trade,
its biggest intraday loss since August, although low liquidity
caused by a national strike protesting President Mauricio
Macri's policies weighed on volume.
    Across Latin America, equities and currency markets were
mixed. The other major loser in currency markets was Brazil's
real currency, which was down 0.66 percent against the
U.S. dollar after a key poll on Monday night showed leftists
gaining ground in the nation's October presidential election.
    According to the poll, leftist Fernando Haddad gained 4
percentage points, while right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro's
support remained steady. In a second round runoff, the poll
showed Bolsonaro would lose to every potential challenger,
except for center-left environmentalist Marina Silva, who is not
expected to make it into the runoff.
    "The possibility of a Haddad victory is bringing caution to
the market," said Vitor Miziara, a partner at investment advisor
Criteria. "The dollar, which had taken profits after testing
4.20 reais (to the dollar), is again the election hedge for
    The real was trading at about 4.13 to the dollar at mid-day.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1505 GMT:  
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1042.35     -0.86    -10.02
 MSCI LatAm                    2527.19     -0.78    -10.64
 Brazil Bovespa               77776.66     -0.27      1.80
 Mexico IPC                   49649.25      0.47      0.60
 Argentina MerVal             34090.71       2.8     13.39
 Colombia IGBC                12442.68      0.64      9.43
 Venezuela IBC               309941.50      1.95  24437.38
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
 Brazil real                    4.1257     -0.95    -19.69
 Mexico peso               19.0050       +0.19        
 Chile peso                      667.8      0.67     -7.96
 Colombia peso                 2997.73      0.13     -0.52
 Peru sol                        3.306     -0.15     -2.09
 Argentina peso                39.2000     -4.77    -52.55
 Argentina peso                     38      0.66    -49.39

 (Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Gram Slattery; Additional
reporting by Camila Moreira; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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