Chile's peso falls to weakest level in years on low copper price

SANTIAGO, March 11 Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:22pm EDT

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SANTIAGO, March 11 (Reuters) - Chile's peso currency fell on the tumbling price of copper to close at its weakest level in nearly five years on Tuesday, just as President Michelle Bachelet assumed her second term in office.

Copper, Chile's main export, hit its lowest level since July 2010 on the London Metal Exchange on Tuesday, under pressure from rising inventories of the metal and slow demand.

The peso weakened 0.78 percent in the local currency market to finish at 574.2/574.5 per dollar, the currency's worst close since April 30, 2009, when it traded at 581.5/581.8 per dollar.

So far this year, the peso has weakened 8.38 percent against the dollar, following its 9.01 percent depreciation in 2013.

Chile's weakening currency is one of several challenges, from a prickly Congress to slow economic growth, that Bachelet faces at the start of her new term.

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