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Argentine peso on roller coaster after Macri defeat

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Argentina's peso slipped further against the dollar Tuesday while the stock market partially recovered as South America's third-largest economy continued to take a pummeling in the wake of pro-business President Mauricio Macri's crushing defeat in party primaries.

[BUENOS AIRES] Argentina's peso slipped further against the dollar Tuesday while the stock market partially recovered as South America's third-largest economy continued to take a pummeling in the wake of pro-business President Mauricio Macri's crushing defeat in party primaries.

The currency - which plummeted 18.76 per cent on Monday - closed a further 1.77 per cent down on Tuesday after the Central Bank had intervened to stave off bigger falls following losses of more than 3 per cent by midday.

The peso traded at 58.33 pesos to the dollar, as against 57.30 at Monday's close.

The stock market rebounded 10 per cent on Tuesday after having lost 38 per cent in Monday's rout.

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The Buenos Aires Stock Exchange Merval Index closed Tuesday up 10.22 per cent, recovering some of the losses shipped following Mr Macri's defeat to a leftist opponent in the country's primaries ahead of October elections.

Centre-right Mr Macri was dealt a huge blow in his bid for re-election when he polled 15 points less than centre-left Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez in Sunday's primary elections, which served as a bellwether for general elections in October.

"With a victory for Mr Fernandez on the cards, a sovereign default is even more likely," analysts Capital Economics warned in a note.

Mr Macri's popularity has plunged since a currency crisis last year - in which the peso lost half its value against the dollar - and a much-criticised US$56 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bail-out loan that analysts say may now have to be restructured.

Argentina is currently in a recession and posted 22 per cent inflation for the first half of the year - one of the highest rates in the world.

Poverty now affects 32 per cent of the population.

Backed by the IMF, Mr Macri has initiated an austerity plan that is deeply unpopular among ordinary Argentines, who have seen their spending power shredded.

AFP