BUENOS AIRES, Mar 31 (Reuters) – The market for the third largest economy in Latin America was operating with slight improvements on Wednesday given investment caution given the lack of visible progress in the dialogue with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a facility loan amid a surge in COVID-19 cases hitting finances at times of high inflation.

The positive bias of local assets remains in line with the trajectory of foreign markets pending details in the announcement of the president of the United States of an infrastructure package of between 3 and 4 trillion dollars.

The next trip of the Minister of Economy Martín Guzmán to Europe “could generate an improvement in the expectations of investors, because, although the underlying problems are not solved, it would provide a period of economic-financial relief that manages to stabilize the imbalances current macroeconomic issues, “said Javier Rava, director of Rava Bursátil.

Guzmán will travel to Europe in mid-April to meet with peers, officials and representatives of the private sector to discuss the renegotiation with the IMF and the debt with the Paris Club for about 2.4 billion dollars.

* Sovereign bonds in the local over-the-counter market improved an average of 0.3% in a selective and reduced market, where the benchmark ‘Bonar 30’ lost 0.4%.

* “While sovereign (bonds) in New York law dollars look cheap to accumulate, we suggest caution and go slowly, without positive catalysts in the short term and in an election year, there may be better entry points,” said the settlement and clearing agent Neix.

* JP.Morgan bank’s Argentina country risk fell 16 units, to 1,583 basis points at 12:30 local time (1530 GMT), compared to a maximum level of 1,669 units registered in the first days of March.

* The leading S&P Merval index of Buenos Aires gained 0.35% to 48,259.99 units, led by the trend of shares in the energy and financial segments. The leading benchmark accumulates a loss of 0.36% in March.

* “The current 2021 scenario is more challenging than the one initially projected for the energy sector and regulated public services in general,” estimated the consulting firm Allaria Lesdesma y Compañía.

* “In the absence of an agreement with the companies, the current frozen rates could continue until the new RTI (Comprehensive Rate Reviews) is approved and the claims are even prosecuted,” he estimated.

* In the exchange market, the interbank peso depreciated a slight 0.03%, to 91.98 / 91.99 per dollar in a market with the liquidity regulation imposed by the central bank (BCRA).

* “The slower slide in the wholesale dollar continues by the central bank, as well as the accumulation of purchases during March,” said Gustavo Ber, economist at Estudio Ber, adding that “financial dollars are still numb.”

* The domestic currency in the alternative segments was trading at 147.3 per dollar in the “spot with settlement” stock market (CCL), at 140.9 in the so-called ‘MEP dollar’ of the Electronic Open Market (MAE) and at 141 units in the brief informal square of changes.

(Report by Walter Bianchi, with the collaboration of Hernán Nessi; Edited by Jorge Otaola)

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