The Chilean peso’s multilateral exchange rate, which measures the currency’s strength against the Andean country’s major trading partners, reached its strongest level last month in at least 20 years, the country’s central bank said.
An index that tracks the peso against the currencies of 20 countries fell to 94.31 in February, the lowest on record in data going back to 1992, according to a statement on the central bank’s website. Today the currency was little changed at 471.55 per U.S. dollar as of 11:29 a.m. New York time.
“Against the dollar it’s pretty much flat but against other economies to which Chile exports, the peso is appreciating, which is worrying,” said Ruben Catalan, an economist at Banco de Credito & Inversiones in Santiago.
Chilean officials have been monitoring the currency’s appreciation to assure it doesn’t crimp economic growth by choking off exports. In a policy statement yesterday, the central bank noted that the currency had appreciated on a “multilateral basis,” contrasting with the prior month’s comparison to the dollar alone.
Expansionary monetary policy in Japan had caused the yen to depreciate, the Chilean central bank said in yesterday’s statement. The peso reached a four-year high against the yen on March 8.
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