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Financial News: ARGENTINA: "Maldonado Affair" Lead Election Polls To Techn

ARGENTINA: "Maldonado Affair" Lead Election Polls To Technical Tie

10/22/2017 - 19:27:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Argentinean stock market posted a bullish rally during September and October as investors, following the pre-election polls, began to take for granted a victory by Mauricio Macri's allies in Sunday's legislative elections.

In Buenos Aires, the pro-government candidate Esteban Bulrrich was four to five percentage points ahead of the former President Cristina Kirchner for that Senate's chair run.

However, and although several analysts pointed out that the optimistic landscape suggested by the Merval rise was exaggerated, the appearance of a body floating in the Chubut river this week may affect the government performance. The body was found in the same region where searches for the 28-year old backpacker Santiago Maldonado were being conducted. Maldonado is missing since August 1.

The backpacker disappeared shortly after surrendering and being arrested by the Gendarmerie during the border guards' repression of a Mapuche demonstration over the claim of Indian ancestral lands in the province of Chubut, in Southern Argentina.

The body found in the Chubut river this week was not identified yet but was enough to trigger social and political turmoil amid the electoral campaign. While the main Argentinean political factions suspended their campaigns for Sunday's legislative elections, thousand of people demonstrated against state violence against its citizens.

According to Mauro Mazza, an analyst at Bull Market Brokers, until last week the victory of the ruling coalition Cambiemos was taken for granted by investors, leading to a bullish rally and the stability of the locally traded U.S. dollar.

Mazza noted that last night one of the main pollsters issued a report in which, following the revival of the so-called "Maldonado Affair," many voters began to re-think their vote. The "undecided" vote until last week was at one percentage point, but since yesterday, it is estimated to have amounted to three percentage points. Meanwhile, Bulrrich's lead over Cristina Kirchner dropped to a technical tie.

If confirmed that the young man was murdered by the border guard, it could further harm Macri's support.

According to Mazza, if a technical tie is confirmed, as in the primaries, the Merval on Monday would open in red and then recover again in the coming weeks.

However, Martín Przybylski, an analyst at Cohen, said that in the last few weeks the market reached historical highs in stocks and bonds due to a presumed Kirchner's defeat. Consulted on the latest polls, the analyst acknowledged that the new figures point to a technical tie.

If during the weekend there is no new news on the "Maldonado Affair," Przybylski said, the Merval would open in red and then recover, given that when analyzing the national elections, it is expected that the disappearance of the young man does not affect the performance of the government nationally.

The national government seeks to ensure governability and obtain a majority in Congress to pass its economic projects. Also, both Kirchner and Macri look at the elections as a preparation for the upcoming 2019 presidential elections.

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