Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The U.S. dollar gained back a portion of its value against the Chilean peso Monday after a negative week in the currency markets. The dollar, which had a January 2009 average of CH$622.532, slid to CH$532.80 on Friday, but has since climbed just past CH$533.

Despite the recent gains, the dollar has fallen almost CH$108 this year, roughly 16 percent, including over CH$16 this week. Thursday’s holiday, which reduced U.S./Chilean daily trade by more than half, contributed partly to Friday’s drop in value.

The recent increase came with news from the United States that CIT Group Inc., a large financing company, would not be pushed into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. CIT, which received US$2.3 billion in bailout funds from the U.S. government, announced Sunday it would be saved with a US$3 billion loan from its bondholders.

The U.S. economy saw gains in other areas as well, including a 0.7 percent gain in the S&P 500 and a 0.8 percent increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Stock markets in Europe and Asia also rose by 1.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

The Latin American and Caribbean regional economy has taken a major hit in the worldwide crisis, according to numbers from the United Nations, which estimated a jump in unemployment to 9.0 percent from 2008’s 7.4 percent and a general 3.1 percent drop in Gross Domestic Product.

The Chilean peso has seen mixed results in that time, including strong gains against both the Chinese Yuan and the Japanese Yen, moderate gains against the Euro and a tumultuous up-down relationship with the British pound.

Economists are anticipating a drop in gasoline prices of CH$21 by next Thursday. Analysts expect the dollar to settle somewhere between CH$530 and CH$550.


By Daniel Zarchy (

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