A general lack of any new economic news and the continued conflict led to a slight sell-off in international markets today. The S&P500 was down 0.14%, while other markets took marginally higher losses on the day. The Colombian Colcap index was up 0.44% as positive news was reported out of both the energy and financial sectors Wednesday. Volume on the BVC was up about 33% from the day before to just under USD$116 million.
The National Agency of Hydrocarbons (ANH) reported a 13.4% increase in oil production in February versus the previous year to 861,000 bpd. The increase was largely due to a 15% increase in Ecopetrol’s production. The Finance Superintendant in Colombia also presented positive news today for the financial sector. Profits in January were $250 million, significantly better than the $52 million reported the previous year. Bancolombia led the way with USD$36 million, followed by Davivienda and Banco Popular.
The peso strengthened yet again today as it picked up more than one half percent on the dollar to close at 1,876.35.
Commodities were under pressure much of the day as the grain markets finished down on the day. WTI was relatively flat and priced at $104.39 in late trading. Fear of an uprising still exists for Saudi Arabia, however OPEC reported they won’t be meeting ahead of schedule because there is still plenty of supply in the markets.