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Chile Peso Shorts by International Investors Climbed Last Week

International investors in the Chilean peso forwards market increased their bets against the Andean currency by the fastest pace in three months last week.

International investors increased their short position by a net $1.05 billion last week to $9.64 billion on Aug. 24, up from a three-month low of $7.65 billion on Aug. 8, according to data published today by the central bank. The peso rose 0.3 percent to a two-week high of 479.65 per U.S. dollar in Santiago.

Last month, the peso reached the strongest level on an inflation-adjusted basis since December 2010, according to data compiled by the central bank. Policy makers started a $12 billion program to weaken the currency in January 2011. Chile’s peso is the fastest-rising currency in Latin America this year.

“They cut back very hard,” said Felipe Alarcon, an economist at Banco de Credito e Inversiones in Santiago. “It takes some of the appreciative pressure out of the peso. Investors are worried about the threat of intervention.”

Local investors, which excludes banks and some brokers, had a $16.7 billion long peso position on Aug. 24, from $16.6 billion on Aug. 20.

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