Chile’s peso rose to a two-month high on expectations of demand from Asia for copper, Chile’s top export, will lift prices and bolster the currency.
Prices for the metal rose to their highest since 2 January, as investors raised bets that demand from Chinese buyers is gaining. Chile’s trade surplus in January surged to a 10-month high as mining output increased.
“This is basically because of the rebound in copper prices,” said Luis Cancino, head of currency and debt trading at Scotiabank Sud Americano in Santiago. “The peso is going to continue to gain as long as copper advances.”
The currency rose 1% to 534.27 per dollar at 9:07 a.m. New York time, its strongest this year. Copper for delivery in May rose for a second day, gaining 8.55 cents, or 3.21 %, to $2.7500 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Within the next month the peso may gain to as strong as 530 per dollar should copper prices continue to rise, Cancino said. Beyond that, the currency’s trend will depend in part on how the central bank manages monetary policy, he said.
While most investors are expecting policy makers to hold rates unchanged at their next meeting 15 March , there is a risk they will cut the rate if the government reports that industrial production expanded less than expected in February, he said.
The National Statistics Institute will report January industrial production figures and the jobless rate on 28 February. Production probably expanded 4.2 % from a year earlier, according to the median forecast from four analysts in a survey, more than the 1.2 % increase in December.