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Argentina markets expected to fall after Peronists win election

Cassandra Garrison

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Argentine markets are expected to fall on Monday after President Mauricio Macri was ousted in an election by Peronist rival Alberto Fernandez, though economists said the impact could be cushioned by a stronger-than-expected showing by the conservative leader.

Peronists swept back into power on Sunday, ousting Macri in an election result that shifts Latin America's No. 3 economy firmly back toward the left after it was battered by economic crisis.

With votes almost all counted, Fernandez had around 48% of the vote to Macri's 40% - a wide enough margin to win in the first round, but a far better result for Macri than a landslide defeat in an August primary which sparked a market collapse.

"The next Peronist government will be under pressure with a strengthened opposition.... it is not a blunt victory for Alberto Fernandez," said Ariel Coremberg, director of the Center of Productivity Studies at University of Buenos Aires.

Investors are waiting for Fernandez and his vice presidential running mate, former firebrand President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, to detail their economic plans.

Alberto Fernandez and Macri are set to meet together early on Monday morning to discuss the political transition, a move which could help calm markets.

Central bank chief Guido Sandleris will also hold a press conference before markets open, after the bank steeply cut the amount of dollars individual entities could buy in the early hours of Monday morning.

Investors are closely watching signals from Fernandez in the coming weeks on how his government plans to approach Argentina's international bondholders and its $57 billion financing deal with the International Monetary Fund as default fears linger.

Julio Nogues, an economist and member of Argentine National Academy of Economic Sciences, said early signs were Fernandez would look to avoid Argentina becoming isolated, while traders were looking to see how he would control the peso.

"If you don't put the house in fiscal order, and you tighten the exchange controls, you're going directly to another fiscal crisis."

Argentina's overseas-listed bonds, including the Argentine century bond and January 2028 benchmark would likely indicate the first signs of market reaction on Monday morning when markets open in Asia and Europe. (Reporting by Cassandra Garrison; Additonal reporting by Joan Manuel Santiago Lopez; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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