Colombia’s benchmark IGBC stock index fell 0.58% to 11,478.70 points Thursday, driven lower by a 0.97% fall in state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol.
“The market opened higher, following the U.S., then Ecopetrol, which is the most traded stock, pulled it down,” said Jorge Zuniga, a market analyst at local brokerage Asesores en Valores. “Ecopetrol is a stock that attracts a lot of speculators, and fear of a fall in the oil price rattled investors.”
Shares in state-controlled power generation company Isagen dropped 2.24% after Colombia’s Mines and Energy Minister Hernan Martinez said the government was unlikely to sell its majority stake in the company this year.
Johanna Castro, a market analyst with local brokerage Corredores Asociados, said the market had overreacted to the news.
“To sell it in December was already impossible,” Castro said. “No one does anything at the end of December. That was already obvious. It’s incredible how stupid this market is.”
The Colombian peso strengthened to COP2,007.25 against the U.S. dollar, from COP2,020.90 on Wednesday, its weakest level since Oct 28.
In the debt markets, the yield on the benchmark government peso-denominated bond maturing in 2020 closed at 8.169%, down from 8.2% on Wednesday. (Dow Jones)