September 12, 2019 / 2:52 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Argentine peso steady after further controls, dips in black market

(Adds black market peso rate, central bank intervention)

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Argentina’s peso was steady on Thursday morning at around 56.2 per U.S. dollar after the country announced further control measures to protect the embattled currency, though it dipped in the unofficial black market.

Argentina’s central bank late on Wednesday announced measures requiring anyone buying foreign currency to present a sworn oath promising to wait at least five days before using it to purchase bonds, closing a loophole that had allowed people to turn a quick profit.

The gap between the official spot rate and the black market rate widened, however, on Thursday morning with traders quoting the unofficial price down 1.26% to 59.75 per dollar. The gap is a sign people think the spot price is artificially high.

Traders said on Thursday the central bank was offering dollars in the market from its reserves to shore up the peso, which lost a quarter of its value in August after a shock landslide primary election defeat for President Mauricio Macri.

Argentina authorized currency controls earlier this month after the peso plunge, an about-face by President Mauricio Macri, who had previously lifted many protectionist practices of his predecessor, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. (Reporting by Adam Jourdan and Walter Bianchi; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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