Colombia’s benchmark stock index climbed Wednesday, continuing a streak of record highs, as shares of state oil firm Ecopetrol SA were boosted by an announcement that the company had found oil in an offshore well in Brazil.
The IGBC index, considered the benchmark for Colombia, rose 1.25% to 14701.55 points. Shares of Ecopetrol gained 2.61% and closed at COP3,730. Ecopetrol’s stock was boosted by a statement released late Tuesday announcing that Anadarko, which operates a joint project in Brazil, had found oil in the Itauna well. Ecopetrol said in the statement that estimates on the well’s potential will have to wait for further exploration in the coming months.
The oil discovery in Brazil marks the first major exploration success for Ecopetrol, which in the last few years has sought to expand its operations outside of Colombia. The Colombian firm, which is 90% controlled by the state, also has operations in Peru and in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Colombian peso, meanwhile, advanced for the first day this week and closed at COP1,799.8 from Tuesday’s close of COP1,804.15.
“The market is testing the central bank and the government to take new measures and step up their intervention,” said Francisco Chaves, currency analyst with brokerage house Corredores Asociados. Chaves expects the peso to retreat in the coming days and close September at around COP1,804.
The central bank intervened Wednesday in the spot market, buying $20 million at COP1,799.4.
The yield on Colombia’s benchmark, peso-denominated bond due in 2020 stood at 7.232%, from 7.200% on Tuesday.