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Chile Peso Strengthens as Copper Soars to Highest in Four Weeks

Chile’s peso rose as workers at the world’s biggest copper mine rejected a pay deal, sending prices for the metal that is the country’s biggest export to a four- week high.

The peso strengthened 0.2 percent to 478.65 per dollar as of 1:08 p.m. in Santiago. It earlier weakened 0.1 percent to 479.9 per dollar. Copper for March delivery rose 1.3 percent to $3.59 a pound on the Comex in New York.

The metal, which makes up more than half of Chile’s exports, rose after workers at BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP)’s Escondida mine rejected a wage proposal on Dec. 22. A failure to reach an agreement may strain world supplies next year as workers can legally go on strike once the deadline for compulsory negotiations expires on July 31.

The peso has climbed 8.5 percent this year, the best performance among the six most-traded Latin American currencies after the Colombian peso’s 9.4 percent gain.

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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