Argentina black market peso back under 1,000 as Milei measures spur markets

A one hundred Argentine peso bill sits on top of several one hundred U.S. dollar bills in this illustration picture

By Jorge Otaola

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's peso on the parallel informal market strengthened more than 1.5% against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, breaking back below the 1,000 per dollar mark and reaching its strongest level since the end of December.

The surge comes after President Javier Milei announced on Friday he would not back down from pushing his libertarian pro-market agenda and called on lawmakers and governors to get behind his austerity drive to overturn a deep fiscal deficit.

The embattled South American country, grappling with inflation over 250%, has had strict capital controls in place since 2019 which have created a wide gap between the official exchange rate and popular parallel markets.

The gap between the official exchange rate of 845 per dollar and the black market rate, which has been as wide as 200% over the last year, has however narrowed significantly since the start of the year to under 18% now.

(Reporting by Jorge Otaola)