Macri refuses to throw in towel after Argentine primary drubbing, currency's plunge

Macri refuses to throw in towel after Argentine primary drubbing, currency's plunge

The primary result indicated that Fernandez had enough support to clinch the presidency in October's first round, without having to go to a November run-off election.

To be elected president in the first round, candidates need to finish with at least 45% of the votes or have 40% and a greater than 10-point advantage over the nearest rival.

He vowed to "redouble" his efforts to secure victory in October's presidential elections.

The election result had earlier prompted Argentina's Euro-denominated bond to fall nearly 9% lower, and the main Argentine stock market moved lower by 11% shortly after trading opened.

"I am sure that today we Argentines begin to build a new history", Fernandez said on Sunday.

Fernandez's lead far exceeded the margin of 2-8 percentage points forecast in recent opinion polls. All of the parties already had their candidates chosen and the only practical result was to eliminate a few minor parties that got less than 1.5% of the overall votes from upcoming general election.

The question is now whether Macri could renegotiate with the International Monetary Fund in order to achieve a less austere budget, as the country is in recession, poverty affects 32% of the population and inflation stands at 22%. "In a nutshell, the market thinks Fernandez is the return of populism", said Claudio Irigoyen of Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML).

Ms Kirchner said: "We know of the hard moment that the country is going through, of millions of Argentines who have lost their jobs, we have talked with so many, we know what it is".

"It's clear that Macri's weakest point is the management of the economy, despite the fact that it has improved in the last three months", said Mariel Fornoni, director of the political consultancy Management & Fit.

Concerns among market participant stem from possible policy discontinuity and intervention as experienced earlier under Kirchner's government.

"We always fixed problems that others generated".

"This gives us the responsibility that we have to reach everyone to give them absolute peace of mind". She now faces multiple corruption probes.

"But not only because we won an election - This is not a soccer game". Falls of between 18-20 cents in Argentina's benchmark 10-year bonds left them trading at around 60 cents on the dollar or even lower.

The possibility that Cristina Fernandez could return to power put markets on edge.

Macri has convened a government meeting after losing Sunday primaries and ordered the ministers to analyze the necessary changes in governance and develop a strategy to prevent a sharp fall in the rate of the national currency. "We expect a significant sell-off in EXD (hard currency) assets and heavy pressure in ARS (Argentine peso) with a potential devaluation in coming weeks", they said in a note.



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