August 28, 2018 / 5:00 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 3-Argentine peso hits new lows, central bank auctions $200 mln

(Adds currency auction amounts, central bank total sales)

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Argentina’s central bank auctioned a total of $200 million of its reserves in two separate currency auctions on Tuesday after the peso hit new lows, the monetary authority said in a statement.

The peso weakened to a record close of 31.50 per dollar after touching an all-time low of 31.60 to the greenback earlier in the day.

The bank offered $300 million in each auction.

The peso has weakened 40.79 percent in 2018. Data published by the central bank shows it has sold a total $12.881 billion in the foreign exchange market this year as monetary policymakers try to stabilize the currency.

Argentina’s economy is expected to contract 1 percent in 2018, but grow by at least 1.5 percent next year, Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne said on Monday. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola Writing by Hugh Bronstein and Scott Squires Editing by Richard Chang and Bill Trott)

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