Argentina plans new rate hike, more FX intervention as inflation soars

BUENOS AIRES, May 14 (Reuters) - Argentina's government announced a package of measures to rein in soaring inflation and support the wobbly peso currency on Sunday, including rate adjustments, more interventions in the exchange market and expedited deals with creditors.

The measures include an interest rate hike by the central bank, the economy ministry said in a statement. The ministry did not elaborate, but an official source told Reuters the hike would be 600 basis points, bringing the rate up to 97%.

The rate hike will take effect Monday, the source added.

The South American nation is battling to bring down inflation that hit 109% on an annual basis in April. It also faces tumbling confidence in the peso and dwindling foreign currency reserves that are threatening the government's finances.

The central bank will also increase its intervention in the foreign-exchange market and double down on its currency devaluation plan, the ministry said.

An agreement with the International Monetary Fund to dole out funds to the cash-strapped nation will be sped up as well, the ministry added.

More measures are set to be announced in coming days, according to the ministry.

President Alberto Fernandez's government is looking to bring the economic situation under control as elections near, with opinion polls showing flagging support for the ruling Peronist party.

Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Adam Jourdan

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