The peso advanced for a fourth day, jumping 2.7 percent to 1,699.35 per U.S. dollar at 10:25 a.m. in New York, from 1,746.9 on July 3, according to the Colombian foreign-exchange electronic transactions system, known as SET-FX. The currency earlier touched 1,693.32, its strongest since June 23.Growing foreign direct investment and the widening gap between Colombian and U.S. benchmark interest rates have helped fuel an 18.6 percent rally in the peso this year. The 7.75 percentage-point difference between Colombian and U.S. benchmark rates is the biggest since July 2001.Colombia’s annual inflation quickened to 7.2 percent in June, above the central bank’s 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent target for this year.The central bank, which has raised rates 3.75 percentage points since April 2006 to try to stem inflation, next meets on July 25. The bank last lifted the key overnight lending rate in February to 9.75 percent, its highest since August 2001.The yield on the benchmark 11 percent government bonds due July 2020 fell 8 basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 12.6 percent, according to Colombia’s stock exchange. The bonds’ price rose 0.426 centavo to 90.311 centavos per peso. (Bloomberg)
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