December 23, 2019 / 7:43 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Argentina's black market peso weakens 4.56% to all-time low -traders

(Adds political, economic background)

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Argentina’s black market peso weakened 4.56% on Monday to an all-time low of 76.75 to the U.S. dollar, traders said, as the market digested new government data showing economic activity contracted 0.9% in October versus the same month last year.

The official peso, supported by capital controls meant to halt a run on the currency, slipped only 0.29% on Monday to 59.99 to the greenback. The peso plummeted more than 83% over the last four years under previous President Mauricio Macri, a free-markets advocate who left office on Dec. 10.

He was succeeded by center-left Peronist Alberto Fernandez, who says he will increase government’s role in Latin America’s No. 3 economy in an effort to spark growth and reduce poverty.

Fernandez was sworn in as president two weeks ago facing a stagnant economy, inflation raging at over 50% and restructuring negotiations about to kick off with bondholders and the International Monetary Fund over about $100 billion in debt that the government has said it cannot repay in full. (Reporting by Hugh Bronstein and Walter BianchiEditing by Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman)

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