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ARGENTINE DAYBOOK: Central Bank Bought Record $278 Million

Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The central bank bought a record $278 million in the foreign exchange market yesterday as companies demand more pesos to pay year-end salaries.

WHAT TO WATCH:

* The national statistics agency releases the economic activity report for October at 4 p.m. local time. Economic activity rose 7.5 percent in October from a year earlier, down from 7.7 percent in September, according to the median estimate of seven economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

ECONOMY/COMMODITIES:

* The Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange releases its weekly crop report in the afternoon.

EQUITIES:

* The Merval Index yesterday fell 0.1 percent to 2,440.87, led by Molinos Rio de la Plata SA, which fell 2 percent to 29.5 pesos, the biggest loss in more than a week.

MARKETS:

* The peso was unchanged at 4.2920 per dollar. The currency has declined 7.3 percent against the dollar this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eliana Raszewski in Buenos Aires at eraszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net

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