Peru’s sol fell after the central bank unexpectedly bought dollars last week to weaken the local currency to bolster exports as the economy decelerates.
The sol dropped 0.3 percent to 2.816 per U.S. dollar at the close of trading in Lima, the steepest fall among 24 major emerging market currencies after the Czech koruna. The 0.7 percent decline over the past two trading days was the biggest since December.
Peru’s monetary authority bought $10 million in the currency market on Aug. 15, the first purchase in more than two months, after the statistics agency reported June’s economic expansion was the slowest in five years. As the sol weakened today, the central bank called local trading desks to gauge demand for dollar-linked certificates of deposit, according to Antonio Diaz, a trader at Banco Internacional del Peru.
The central bank “probably wants the currency to trade in a narrow range until the economy shows signs of improvement,” Diaz said by phone from Lima. “Friday’s intervention took the market by surprise.”
The country’s bonds due in 2020 fell 0.1 centimo to 115.89 centimos per sol, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. Yield rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 4.74 percent.
The central bank bought greenbacks on Aug. 15 at an average 2.794 soles per dollar, according to its website.
It bought $5.2 billion in the first four months of 2013 to weaken the sol.