Mauricio Macri, Argentina’s president, arrives at a news conference at the Juntos por el Cambio party headquarters during a primary election night rally in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019.
Erica Canepa | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Argentina’s peso and stock market sold off steeply Monday after the country’s center-right leader, President Mauricio Macri, performed poorly in primary elections.
Macri lost by a far greater margin than expected on Sunday, early official results showed, casting serious doubt over the incumbent’s reelection chances in October.
The main Argentine stock market plunged more than 30% on Tuesday. Argentina’s peso shed nearly 25% of its value to around 59 per U.S. dollar shortly after trading opened. The peso had been at 45.25 at its previous close. According to traders cited by Reuters, the peso then hit a record 65 per dollar to mark a 30.3% loss.
The election result had earlier prompted Argentina’s euro-denominated bond to fall almost 9 cents lower, according to data reported by Reuters. The yield, which moves inversely to price, rose almost 3%.
The opposition ticket of center-left Alberto Fernandez, whose running mate is populist ex-leader Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, secured 47.7% of the vote, with roughly 99% of the ballots counted.
Meanwhile, Macri and his running mate, Miguel Angel Pichetto, received 32.1% of the vote.
The result of the primaries, seen by many as a key gauge for the first round of Argentina’s presidential elections on Oct. 27, is thought to be a clear signal that the South American country is ready to reject the ruling government’s austere economic policies.
It has prompted analysts to warn of widespread panic in financial markets, with Argentine stocks, bonds and the country’s super-sensitive peso thought to be headed for a day of turmoil.