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Chilean Peso Depreciates as Copper Decline Dims Export Outlook

Chile's Finance Minister Felipe Larrain
Felipe Larrain, Chile's finance minister. Photographer: Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg

Chile’s peso retreated from the biggest gain since November as slumping copper prices signaled a diminished trade surplus for the metal’s top-producing nation.

The peso depreciated 0.2 percent to 513.08 per U.S. dollar at 10:43 a.m. in Santiago. The currency rallied 1.2 percent yesterday.

Copper, which accounts for half of Chile’s exports, lost as much as 1.7 percent in New York as China’s home prices fell for a fourth month and Societe Generale SA said the metal may be poised to drop almost 10 percent on mounting concern about a global economic slowdown. European stocks fell from a five-month high on concern that banks will need to raise more capital.

“The peso is moving in line with copper prices after economic data from China came in lower than expected,” Eugenio Cortes, head of currency forwards at Euroamerica Corredores de Bolsa SA. “It’s also suffering a correction after gains in the first two days of the year. However, if it remains below 515 I believe it will trend to levels of 505 or 506 per dollar.”

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