Chile’s peso posted the biggest drop among major emerging-market currencies as the central bank signaled it may cut borrowing costs in coming months.
The currency depreciated 0.8 percent to 505.77 per U.S. dollar today, the biggest decline since Aug. 19. The peso snapped three straight days of advances and pared its gain this week to 0.3 percent. The currency rose yesterday to 501.56, the strongest level since July 18.
“The central bank didn’t really give the green light” for the peso to gain further, Katia Diaz, a Latin America economist at 4Cast Inc., said by phone from New York. The move is also being “exaggerated” by traders adjusting their positions before holidays that will close Chilean markets next week amid speculation the Federal Reserve may announce a reduction in monetary stimulus on Sept. 18.
Policy makers held the target lending rate yesterday at 5 percent for a 20th straight meeting, matching the forecasts of 15 of 19 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Four projected a reduction to 4.75 percent. Last week, the central bank reduced its 2013 economic growth estimate to a range of 4 percent to 4.5 percent from 4 percent to 5 percent.
“The consolidation of the trends outlined in the last Monetary Policy Report could call for adjustments to the monetary policy interest rate in the coming months,” according to the statement released yesterday.