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Chilean Peso Rises as Economy, Trade Surplus Exceed Forecasts

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May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Chile’s peso gained as economic growth and the trade surplus beat economists’ forecasts and copper gained, making the nation’s assets more attractive to international investors.

The peso extended its rally this year to 7.7 percent, the second-best performance against the dollar after the Colombian currency among major Latin America counterparts. The gains today may have been limited as European election results cast doubt on the global economic recovery.

“The external news wasn’t very good, but the local data far surpassed expectations,” said Andres de la Cerda, a money markets trader at Bice Inversiones in Santiago.

Chile’s currency appreciated 0.2 percent to 482.22 per U.S. dollar, from 483.24 on May 4, when it touched 480.12, the strongest level since March 16. Copper, the nation’s biggest export, gained 0.3 percent to $3.7325 a pound for July delivery.

The Chilean economy expanded 5.2 percent in March from a year earlier, beating the 4.3 percent median forecast of 16 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. Chile had a trade surplus of $1.05 billion in April, exceeding the $650 million median projection of 12 analysts.

The dollar rose against the euro for a sixth day as investors sought refuge after French Socialist Francois Hollande defeated Nicolas Sarkozy to win the country’s presidency and Greek voters supported anti-bailout parities.

One-year interest-rate swaps increased four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 5.17 percent. The two-year rate rose two basis points to 5.16 percent.

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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