Dollar futures surge prompts CNV probe into leaked information

March and April contracts surged by 5%, with a spike in traded volumes

After midday on Friday, Argentina’s markets were in a frenzy. As the rumor mill churned, the volume of dollar futures operations shot up, with a marked acceleration after 2 p.m. The numbers speak for themselves: in just one day, the market saw over 50% of the volume normally traded in a week.

Due to the unusual activity, the National Securities Commission (CNV by its Spanish initials), which regulates Argentina’s financial markets, will launch an investigation to establish whether information may have been leaked that led to insider trading. 

“Ahead of the close of trading, activity increased due to expectations around the speech for the opening of congressional sessions,” a CNV source told the Herald. “The CNV will open an investigation to establish whether participants involved had any kind of privileged information.” 

The largest volumes were registered in March and April contracts, with jumps of 5.51% and 4.56% in the agreed prices. However, the most striking was the volume of deals: the March contract reached 418,418 operations and April reached 157,429.

By comparison, the average number of daily contracts over the past week was 368,281 for all contract types, according to Matba Rofex. In addition to dollars, this figure includes commodities, gold, Bitcoin, and stocks and shares.

“A lot of rumors,” said a major Argentine market participant about the reasons for the increase. All week, rumors have circulated about possible announcements that Milei could make during his speech for the opening of sessions. In particular, on Friday, messages shared via WhatsApp speculated that these could include changes to foreign exchange or monetary policy.

In addition to the volumes, market analysts were struck by the spread between bid and offer on the contracts. A source at the money desk of a bank confirmed that the Central Bank did not operate in the futures market on Friday, an absence that prompts the question of whether there could indeed be an announcement about monetary or foreign exchange policy. 

The Central Bank declined to comment on the matter. This absolute silence extended to the Treasury, which also declined to comment.


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