Argentine peso strengthens on optimism over IMF talks
By Jorge Otaola and Walter Bianchi BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The Argentine peso rose 3.2 percent on Thursday, and investors cited optimism that the recession-hit country will strike a new standby financing agreement with the International Monetary Fund aimed at guaranteeing government solvency. The local currency was at 38.15 to the dollar. It has lost about half its value this year as investors worried about whether Argentina could meet its debt obligations next year
By Jorge Otaola and Walter Bianchi
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The Argentine peso rose 3.2 percent on Thursday, and investors cited optimism that the recession-hit country will strike a new standby financing agreement with the International Monetary Fund aimed at guaranteeing government solvency.
The local currency was at 38.15 to the dollar. It has lost about half its value this year as investors worried about whether Argentina could meet its debt obligations next year.
An IMF spokesman said "important progress" was being made in talks between the multilateral lender and the government to strengthen the $50 billion standby deal signed in June. [nL2N1W60ST] Investors said the peso also got a boost from strong demand by foreign investors in a sale of government debt on Wednesday.
The local Merval stock index rose 2.2 percent.
The peso sell-off started in May, driven by high inflation and doubts about central bank's ability to pay its growing short-term 'Lebac' debt. The economy has since slipped into recession with inflation at more than 34 percent in the 12 months through August.
Last month President Mauricio Macri was forced to re-negotiate his government's deal with the IMF, offering policies aimed at erasing the country's fiscal deficit next year in exchange for quicker-than-planned IMF cash disbursements.
This year's deficit is expected by his administration at 2.6 percent of gross domestic product. On Monday the government unveiled its 2019 budget proposal. The bill offers spending cuts and tax hikes on exports as the way to reach fiscal equilibrium.
The local currency benefited from an estimated $950 million in foreign investment in Wednesday's offer of short-term Treasury notes, traders said. The notes were issued with an interest rate of almost 50 percent.
(Additional reporting by Gabriel Burin, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by David Gregorio)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.