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Chilean Peso Reverses Gain After U.S. GDP Data Hits Copper Price

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Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The Chilean peso headed for its second-smallest monthly change in three years as speculation that the central bank might take steps to trim the currency’s advance pushed exchange-rate volatility to the lowest in 15 years.

The currency fell 0.4 percent to 472.95 per U.S. dollar as of 12:58 p.m. in Santiago. The 30-day volatility in the currency fell to the lowest since 1998, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The monthly change was the smallest after November’s 0.03 percent drop.

The peso was little changed today as U.S. economic data weighed on copper, offsetting figures showing the Andean country’s manufacturing industry grew faster than forecast last month.

“We had a bit of a shake-up when the U.S. data came out,” said Ronald Volpi, head of spot currency trading at EuroAmerican Corredores de Bolsa SA in Santiago. “The local data was good but in line, but we saw big buying of dollars after the U.S. numbers.”

Copper for May delivery unwound a 1 percent gain after the Commerce Department said the world’s largest economy grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate in the last three months of 2012, slower than the 0.5 percent median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey. Chile’s National Statistics Institute had earlier said manufacturing expanded 4.3 percent in January after contracting in December. Copper is Chile’s biggest export.

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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