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Argentina's central bank looks to tame inflation with new measures

Banco Central de la República Argentina will reduce its monetary base by an additional 10% before the close of 2019 in a bid to tame inflation, Bloomberg News reported, citing central bank President Guido Sandleris.

Beginning in April, the bank will also adjust the upper and lower bands of its foreign exchange nonintervention range by 1.75% per month. Additionally, Argentina's executive branch is set to forward a bill that will prevent the central bank from financing the government's treasury.

The measures follow a spike in inflation in February, with consumer prices increasing 3.8% from the previous month and 51.3% year over year. The year-over-year reading marks the fastest annual pace of inflation since President Mauricio Macri assumed office late in 2015.

Separately, the central bank is looking to engage market makers to help it stabilize the peso currency, which has fallen roughly 8% in 2019, two people with direct knowledge of the plans told Reuters.

The central bank wants to license dealers who agree to buy and sell at set prices with the hope that they will boost liquidity in the exchange market and prevent sharp swings in the currency.

Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolás Dujovne earlier said the treasury would auction $9.6 billion in dollars from April until the end of 2019.