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Colombian Peso Falls for Second Day as Protests Cut Oil Output

Colombia’s peso fell for a second day on speculation protests that have cut into the nation’s oil production will lead to lower dollar inflows.

The peso erased earlier gains, declining 0.2 percent to 1,846 per U.S. dollar in the next-day market, according to the stock exchange’s foreign-exchange electronic transactions system, known as SET-FX. With markets closed in the U.S., Colombia’s currency trades in the so-called next-day market, in which payment and delivery are made the following trading day.

Protesters have blockaded roadways and prevented workers from entering the Cira Infantas field since this weekend, reducing output, a company official from state oil company Ecopetrol SA who can’t be identified because of corporate policy, said today by telephone.

“There’s some concern about the oil protests given the resulting reduced production,” said Omar Escorcia, an analyst at Asesores en Valores SA brokerage in Bogota. “The oil protests aren’t good news for Colombia’s investment environment.” Oil accounts for about 40 percent of the country’s total exports.

Foreign direct investment jumped 56 percent to $14.8 billion in 2011 from a year earlier, with 82 percent going into oil and mining, according to preliminary trade balance data from the central bank.

The yield on the nation’s 10 percent bonds due in July 2024 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 7.37 percent, according to the stock exchange. The bond’s price fell 0.064 centavo to 120.934.

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