Bloomberg News

Colombia’s Peso Advances for 10th Week on U.S. Payrolls Data

March 09, 2012

Colombia’s peso posted a 10th week of gains, its longest winning streak since at least 1992, as a report showing the U.S. added more jobs than forecast boosted the outlook for the world’s biggest economy and buoyed demand for higher-yielding assets.

The peso climbed 0.2 percent to 1,762.35 per U.S. dollar, from 1,765 yesterday. Earlier it touched 1,759.60, the strongest intraday level since July 27. The peso advanced 0.7 percent this week and has jumped 9.3 percent in the past three months, the best performance among all currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The weekly winning streak is the longest since at least 1992 when Bloomberg data began.

The Colombian currency also climbed amid rising foreign direct investment and on speculation higher interest rates in the Andean country will lead to increased portfolio investment from abroad, said Jorge Cardozo, an analyst at Bogota-based brokerage Corredores Asociados SA.

“Optimism after the U.S. payrolls data is boosting gains in currencies in Latin America” including the Colombian peso, Cardozo said. “FDI continues to rise and the higher interest rates in Colombia should also help attract more portfolio investment.”

Labor Department figures showed employers in the U.S. increased payrolls by 227,000 in February, more than the median projection for a 210,000 rise in a Bloomberg survey. Today is the third anniversary of the 2009 bear-market low for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The benchmark gauge has risen 103 percent since closing at 676.53 on March 9, 2009.

Colombia’s central bank raised the benchmark lending rate a quarter percentage point to 5.25 percent on Feb. 24, the second straight monthly increase. Cardozo forecasts policy makers will increase the key rate this month to 5.5 percent and leave it at that level through year-end.

The yield on Colombia’s 10 percent peso-denominated debt due July 2024 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 7.21 percent, according to the central bank. The bond’s price rose 0.108 centavo to 122.292 centavos per peso.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Jaramillo in Bogota at ajaramillo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net


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