Colombia’s peso tumbled 1.5 percent, the second-most among emerging markets, prompting some companies in the country to rush to buy dollars before the exchange rate gets even worse.
The peso fell to 2,834 per dollar at the close in Bogota, the weakest since November 2003. Among developing countries, only Brazil’s real had a bigger drop Thursday, at 2 percent. The Colombian currency has depreciated 8.2 percent this month.
“The market is very nervous, and there’s full-on panicking with companies in the real sector buying dollars they were waiting to buy cheaper,” Andres Munoz, the head currency trader at Corp. Financiera Colombiana, said in a telephone interview. “For us, these are very dangerous levels, because it can also come back very quickly.”
Export revenue from oil, which accounts for around half of Colombia’s exports and about 17 percent of government revenue, has tumbled with falling crude prices. On Thursday, New York oil futures for September delivery fell 89 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $48.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.