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Chile Peso Drops as Slower German Growth Dims Global Prospects

Chile’s peso dropped for a third straight day as a report showed Germany’s economic expansion slowed in 2012, dimming global growth prospects and reducing demand for emerging-market assets.

The currency also fell on speculation the central bank may take steps to slow its advance after the peso touched a three-month intraday high of 469.10 per dollar on Jan. 8.

“Below 470, fears of verbal intervention increase though we don’t expect actual intervention until below 460,” said Cristian Donoso, a trader at Banchile Corredores de Bolsa SA in Santiago.

The peso declined 0.3 percent to 475.05 per U.S. dollar at the close in Santiago, the weakest this year. The euro weakened 0.3 percent to $1.3345.

Siobhan Morden, the head of Latin America fixed-income strategy at Jefferies Group Inc., warned investors in an e-mailed report today that the peso was vulnerable to intervention by the central bank. Diego Donadio, a strategist at BNP Paribas SA in Sao Paulo, recommended that investors bet the peso will weaken to 495 per U.S. dollar because of the risk of action from the central bank.

Germany’s gross domestic product may have dropped as much as 0.5 percent in the final three months of last year from the third quarter, the Federal Statistics Office reported today in a preliminary estimate, leaving Europe’s largest economy at the brink of recession. Copper, used in new homes and cars, often rises or falls on changing expectations for global expansion.

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