Bloomberg News

Chilean Peso Beats Counterparts as Mining Companies Sell Dollars

April 19, 2012

Chile’s peso outperformed all other major Latin American currencies as mining companies sold dollars to make payments, overshadowing a drop in the price of copper.

The peso appreciated 0.1 percent to 488.29 per U.S. dollar, from 488.66 yesterday. The Bloomberg JPMorgan Latin American Currency Index fell 0.2 percent as the Brazilian real dropped 0.2 percent and the Mexican peso slid 0.4 percent.

The Chilean currency performs better on average on Thursdays than other days of the week as mining companies sell dollars to meet Friday payroll commitments. Over the past four years through today, the peso has on average gained 0.13 percent on Thursdays and depreciated every other trading day of the week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Mining companies sold dollars as they typically do on Thursday, which offset the negative sentiment in global markets,” said Katia Diaz, an economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York. “It opened a little bit lower this morning, but there tends to be supply of dollars on Super Thursday, and it rode that out.”

Local investors in the Chilean peso forwards market cut their long peso position to $14.8 billion, the lowest since January. Offshore investors had a $7 billion short peso position as of April 15, up from $6.7 billion a day earlier, the central bank said today.

The peso earlier today traded weaker than 490 per dollar for the first time this month as copper dropped on concern that demand is easing in China and the U.S.

The price of the metal fell as much as 0.9 percent before slipping 0.1 percent in New York after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said that imports into China may decline because of high inventories. Chile is the biggest copper producer, and China is the biggest buyer of Chilean copper.

Global stocks fell as disappointing economic reports and concern Europe’s debt crisis is getting worse, overshadowed better-than-forecast results from Morgan Stanley and EBay Inc.

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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