* Chile's robust economic growth has boosted peso
* Currency has gained around 8 pct vs US dollar in 2012
* Strong domestic demand fueled 5.7 pct Q3 GDP growth
SANTIAGO, Nov 28 Foreign bets against the
Chilean peso are at their lowest level in almost six months, as
more investors anticipate the country's strong domestic growth
will buoy its currency, central bank data showed on Wednesday.
Chilean non-deliverable forwards, or foreign exchange
contracts settled in dollars, point to a stronger
peso, with the net position against the local currency declining
some $4.0 billion since mid-June, according to central bank data
to Nov. 26.
Bets against the peso have fallen to $6.779 billion from
$8.651 billion at the beginning of the month, and $10.628
billion in mid-June, which was the highest according to the
central bank data that dates back to 2008.
The Chilean currency has gained about 8 percent
against the U.S. dollar this year. It ranks behind the Hungarian
forint and the Polish zloty as one of the strongest foreign
currency performer against the U.S. dollar among 152 currencies
tracked by Reuters.
"These appreciative bets for the peso clearly come because
of the economy's strength, and the bets have increased after the
central bank published gross domestic product growth data for
the third quarter, which attracted foreign investors," said
Ruben Catalan, an economist with Bci Estudios brokerage in
Investor-darling Chile's small, export-dependent economy
expanded 5.7 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier
, fueled by sizzling domestic demand.
The Andean country grew a seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent in
the third quarter versus the second quarter, slowing from an
upwardly revised 2.0 percent expansion in the second quarter
from the first quarter.
Chile's central bank has kept rates on par at 5 percent
since a surprising cut in January, as it weighs robust local
growth against external risks.