Colombia Peso Gains to Five-Month High on U.S. Jobless Rate

Colombia’s peso rose to a five-month high after a report showing employment in the U.S. climbed more than forecast while the jobless rate unexpectedly dropped boosted demand for higher-yielding, emerging-market assets.

The peso climbed 0.5 percent to 1,784.50 per U.S. dollar, from 1,793.88 yesterday. Earlier it touched 1,779.88, the strongest since Sept. 2. The currency rose for a fifth straight week, jumping 1.3 percent in the last five days.

“The U.S. jobs number was pretty good and Latin American currencies are reacting positively,” said Patricia Gonzalez, an analyst at Banco de Bogota SA, the nation’s second-biggest bank.

The 243,000 increase in U.S. payrolls in January was the most since April and exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey, Labor Department figures showed in Washington. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest since February 2009.

The Colombian currency also advanced as increased dollar holdings in local banks reduced the forward curve, “creating an incentive” to borrow abroad, said Gonzalez.

The yield on the government’s 10 percent peso bonds due July 2024 rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 7.36 percent, according to the central bank. The bond’s price fell 0.223 centavo to 120.9920 centavos per peso.

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