The Colombian Colcap had a strong day following an unusually more eventful day in news than the States. The index rose 0.85% to 1,718.45 Thursday.
Unemployment in the month of February registered in at 12.8%, 0.2% higher than the same month last year, however the coastal towns and Bogota saw improvement in their jobs market. Unemployment in San Andres and the capital came in under 11.3%, approaching single digits for the first time in years.
GNCH, also known as Chocolates, announced today that it would be changing its name to Grupo Nutresa S.A. and issuing 25 million new shares to fund the expansion of the company. This will be on top of the pending issues in coming months from Grupo Aval and AviancaTaca. Pacific Rubiales picked up 4.20% after announcing a strategic alliance with Mauret et Prom and acquiring a 50% participation in 5 blocks of potential drilling lands in Colombia.
The S&P500 index was relatively flat today as it traded down 0.18%. New unemployment claims for last week were announced today at 388,000, slightly greater than the 380,000 expected, but still under the psychologically important 400,000 level. News out of Europe seems to always be gloomy these days, and it’s not changing today. Ireland reported that 4 banks will need increased capital levels to remain solvent, while Portugal weighed in that it did not meet its goal of deficit reduction in 2010 and likely wouldn’t in 2011.
The peso picked up a slight gain on the dollar today as it closed at 1,871.50., a 0.21% appreciation.
The commodity markets made up for recent sleepiness today as oil jumped 2.25% to over $106/barrel. The “metals” remained quiet, but crops made up for it with large gains as corn picked up 4.52% and wheat added 4.95% to its price.