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ECONOMY | 16-03-2020 12:53

Buenos Aires Stock Exchange slumps more than 10% at opening

Argentine stocks were hit by another 'Black Monday' this morning, as global turmoil in the markets hit local securities.

Argentine stocks were hit by another 'Black Monday' this morning, as global turmoil in the markets hit local securities.

The benchmark Merval index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange collapsed 10.20 percent to 25,458.80 points at the opening this Monday, in line with global fears about the coming economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Losses were widespread – one of the most affected was the state oil company YPF (down 15.80 percent).

Argentina, which is starting negotiations to restructure its public debt, registered a rise in country risk too, exceeding 3,400 points. Bonds listed on Wall Street (ADRs) also collapsed.

Others hit hard were Telecom Argentina (down 12.60 percent) and the agricultural firm Cresud (down 12.37 percent).

The price of the dollar rose five cents this noon to 60.22 pesos for purchase and 65.10 pesos for sale, according to a Central Bank survey.

The price of the US currency has been trickling up in Argentina, in line with other countries in the region such as Brazil and Chile, in the midst of a global panic. The monetary authority, led by Miguel Ángel Pesce, came out to intervene in the opening hours of trading.

The government is considering the introduction of more measures to slow down the spread of the virus. On Sunday, the government ordered the closure of schools and borders.

Argentina has so far registered 56 cases, two of them fatal.

– TIMES/AFP

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