No sign of Chile central bank intervention seen despite peso fall

viernes 21 de agosto de 2015 13:33 GYT

By Anthony Esposito and Antonio De la Jara

SANTIAGO Aug 21 (Reuters) - Chile's central bank is nowhere near intervening in the foreign exchange market, economists said, despite the peso's fall to a 12-year low against the U.S. dollar.

The peso weakened sharply against the greenback this week, extending its year-to-date decline to 12.5 percent. It came close to breaching the 700 peso to the dollar mark for the first time since 2003, as fears over the Chinese economy have led down the price of copper, Chile's key export.

Out of nine economists and analysts surveyed by Reuters, three thought the central bank might decide to intervene if the peso were to hit 750 per dollar, but others did not see an intervention likely at all.

"I don't see any kinds of signs they are ready or inclined to intervene in the FX," said Tiago Severo, economist at Goldman Sachs.

"When we look at the language of the central bank's communications it seems that they see this adjustment of the currency as part of a natural rebalancing of the market," he added.

The bank has made no attempt to talk down the peso but has expressed concern that risks from the Chinese economy and U.S. monetary policy could increase volatility and have a knock-on effect on inflation.

Of the world's 36 most-traded currencies, the Chilean peso has posted the 6th biggest fall versus the dollar in 2015, trading at 696.70 on Friday, much weaker than prior forecasts.