Chile Peso Rises to 12-Month High as Copper Gains, Flows Climb

  • Bucks trend of other major Latin American currencies that fall
  • Flows from foreign institutional help peso strengthen

Chile’s peso bucked the trend of major Latin American currencies Friday and strengthened to its highest level in almost a year as metal prices rallied and foreign investors bought up local fixed-income instruments.

The peso advanced 0.8 percent to 657.93 per dollar at 12:37 p.m. in Santiago, poised for the strongest close since July 23, 2015. Copper, the country’s main export, rose 1.3 percent in New York amid bets that China’s central bank will do more to stimulate growth. The Bloomberg JP Morgan Latin America Currency Index slumped 0.2 percent.

"Copper is still going strong, and that helps us more than any other Latin American country," said Fernando Montalva, a currency trader at Itau Corpbanca in Santiago. "We are also seeing flows today from a foreign institutional investor that is buying local fixed income instruments."

The peso is heading to a 3.4 percent increase this week, the biggest since October 2011, recovering more than it had lost after voters in the United Kingdom decided last week to leave the European Union, sparking a global selloff in riskier assets. Those fears have assuaged amid speculation that global central banks will act to counter any slowdown with monetary stimulus.

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