The pulse of the financial market in the last wheels of the year is played in dollar code. While minimal volumes are traded in stocks and bonds, price volatility returned to the foreign exchange market, in its wide variety of business segments.
The salient data was that of yesterday’s rally of three pesos or 1.5% for the free dollar. Although it is a minor circuit, it is a reference, especially for small savers.
The informal currency thus scored a new All-time high, at $ 209 for sale, above the $ 207 that came to be operated on November 11, before the legislative elections.
Also the stock market dollars were in demand and on the rise, to $ 206.67 for the “cash with settlement” and $ 196.03 for the MEP dollar.
The rise of alternative dollars puts in check the strategy of the “crawling peg” or soft and controlled devaluation of the official exchange rate. The wholesale dollar registered an almost imperceptible rise, of just six cents, to $ 102.68 for sale.
In this way the exchange rate gap widened and threatens to move towards a point of no return, when a lower demand for pesos and an overheating of inflation are expected in the first months of 2022. The gap between the “blue” dollar and the wholesaler reached 103,5%, while it remained at 101.3% with respect to the stock market “counted with liquidation.”
Despite the iron “stocks”, the largest demand was also present in the formal square Y broke a good streak for the Central Bank, which had to interrupt a series of eleven consecutive sessions of net purchases.
In a round with spot operations for USD 253.6 million, the monetary authority concluded its intervention with negative balance of USD 45 million, according to private estimates.
Thus, the negative balance for the Central due to its exchange interventions is around USD 363 million in December, although in the course of 2021 it still maintains a result of net purchases for 5.160 million dollars.
“The most probable – as desirable – is that the agreement with the Fund will arrive before the March payments. And the government’s rush – logically – is the worrying situation of reserves of the Central Bank, with the liquid already in negative for a few weeks “, he specified Pedro Siaba Serrate, Fixed Income strategist of Portfolio Personal Inversiones.
Reserves drop to a minimum in a year
After the sale of foreign currency carried out by the Central in the spot market, the gross international reserves they subtracted USD 55 million in the day, and now in the USD 39,127 million They were at the lowest amount in more than a year, since December 22, 2020.
GMA Capital said that “this year was exceptional in terms of availability of trade dollars. On the one hand, the field settled a record figure of more than USD 30,000 million in the first eleven months of 2021, helped by the international context. This fact, added to the mobility restrictions, which negatively affected foreign tourism in most of the year, caused that through the commercial channel will enter USD 14,400 million between January and November.
In 2021, the payment of debt and the intervention in the bond market consumed the currencies that the Central Bank was able to capture from the trade surplus
“But the firepower of the BCRA did not feel the rain of agro-dollars. Rather, the opposite happened. While today the Gross reserves total USD 39,000 million, net reserves are only USD 2,600 million (excluding SDR, the IMF Special Drawing Rights), this being I ride the lowest since 2016. Not even the arrival of the SDR in September (USD 4,300 million) could cut the drain on reserves in recent months, “said the study prepared by economists. Nery Persichini Y Melina eidner.
What happened so that the Central Bank could not strengthen its coffers? “In the first place, postponing for two years the negotiation of a new agreement with the IMF was far from being gratuitous. Honoring the payments cost $ 6.6 billion. Of this amount, USD 5.1 billion were used to meet commitments with the agency in 2021. In turn, we estimate that the BCRA would have used USD 2,600 million, sum that is equal to the net reserves, for intervene in financial exchange rates during this year and avoid a major jump in the gap ”, explained the experts from GMA Capital.