Bloomberg News

Chile Peso Falls as U.S. Joblessness, Greece Sap Risk Appetite

March 29, 2012

Chile’s peso weakened as higher- than-forecast U.S. jobless claims and a warning that Greece may need to restructure its debt again eroded demand for riskier, emerging-market assets.

The peso slid 0.1 percent to 489.75 per U.S. dollar as of 11:04 a.m. in Santiago from 489.29 yesterday. The Bloomberg JPMorgan Latin American Currency Index fell 0.4 percent, the most in two weeks.

Regional currencies weakened against the dollar after U.S. jobless claims topped forecasts and Standard & Poor’s head of sovereign ratings Moritz Kraemer said Greece may need to restructure its debt again. The peso weakened less than currencies in Brazil and Colombia after domestic retail sales increased more than forecast.

“The local news was very good,” said Ronald Volpi, head of spot currency trading at EuroAmerica Corredores de Bolsa SA in Santiago. “We’ll have to see how international markets unfold.”

Chilean retail sales expanded 12.4 percent in February from a year earlier, the government’s statistics institute said in a report today.

That beat the 7 percent median forecast of analysts in a Bloomberg survey and led Jorge Selaive, chief economist at Banco de Credito e Inversiones (BCI) in Santiago, and Deputy Economic Minister Tomas Flores, to estimate the economy grew 6 percent or more in the 12 months through February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sebastian Boyd in Santiago at sboyd9@bloomberg.net

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


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