Colombian stocks inched higher Wednesday, driven by gains in state-run energy firm Ecopetrol SA (EC, ECOPETROL.BO), while the peso weakened slightly against the dollar.
The Colcap index, the benchmark for Colombia’s most liquid publicly-traded companies, rose 0.18% to end the session at 1703.29. The Colcap index has surged 8.38% since the start of the year.
Ecopetrol SA was among the most heavily traded share in the session. The company posted a 0.71% gain to close at COP4,950 per share. Canacol Energy (CANACOL.BO), a Calgary, Alberta oil firm, rose 7.23% to close at COP1,780.
Almacenes Extio (EXITO.BO), Colombia’s largest retail chain, declined 1.42% to COP24,960. The company posted a net profit of 389.5 billion Colombian pesos ($219 million) last year, a 53% increase from 2010.
Exito, which is controlled by Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA (CO.FR), is the market leader in Colombia with a share of more than 40% of the formal retail market. Last year it issued shares for COP2.5 trillion in the local stock exchange to help fund the purchase of Casino’s operations in Uruguay.
The Colombian peso, meanwhile, retreated slightly against the greenback and closed at COP1,782.00 to the dollar from COP1,779.85 a day earlier. The yield on Colombia’s peso-denominated bond due July 2024 closed at 7.380%, after beginning the session at 7.419%.