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Argentina sold $30 million in the foreign exchange market on Monday at an average price of 41.55 pesos per greenback, traders said, marking the start of an IMF-approved peso-buying program aimed at bolstering government finances.

Another $30 million auction was expected later in the day.

Under the country's standby financing deal with the International Monetary Fund, Argentina's treasury will sell $60 million per day up to $9.6 billion by way of the central bank to finance government spending. Monday's auction was the first of the peso-buying program.

"The objective of these auctions is to provide pesos needed for government spending denominated in local currency," the treasury said in a statement.

In 2018 Argentina signed a $56.3 billion IMF finance deal intended to stabilize the peso and help pull the country out of recession. The fund this month ratified its third review of Argentina's economy under the deal, unlocking a roughly $10.8 billion disbursement of funds.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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