Colombia’s peso fell for the first day in four after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the world’s biggest economy is barely expanding.
The peso also followed declines in the euro, said Julian Ramirez, an analyst at Bogota-based brokerage Proyectar Valores SA. The 16-nation currency fell against most of its major counterparts as European officials showed divisions about how to contain the region’s sovereign-debt crisis.
“There’s pessimism regarding Europe and the U.S. and that’s dragging down the peso,” said Ramirez.
The peso weakened 0.3 percent to 1,889.65 per U.S. dollar at 3:56 p.m. New York time, from 1,883.30 on Dec. 3. It has dropped 4.5 percent in the last three months, the worst performance among 25 emerging market currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
The U.S. is “not very far from the level where the economy is not self-sustaining” and it’s possible the Fed may expand bond purchases beyond the $600 billion announced last month to spur growth, Bernanke said in an interview broadcast yesterday by CBS Corp.’s “60 Minutes” program.
The U.S. is Colombia’s biggest trading partner, buying about 40 percent of the Andean country’s exports.
Colombia’s peso bonds gained for a fourth day, erasing an earlier decline.
The yield on Colombia’s benchmark 11 percent bonds due 2020 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 7.34 percent, according to Colombia’s stock exchange. The bond’s price rose 0.065 centavo to 124.564 centavos per peso.
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