Peru’s main stock index climbed the most among 21 developing nations in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index this year as prices for copper, the nation’s largest export, surged to a record.
The Lima General Index rose for a sixth day, gaining 0.5 percent to a three-year high of 23,374.57 at 1 p.m. New York time. The measure has rallied 65 percent in 2010 after doubling last year, its steepest advance since 2006. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index increased 0.7 percent to 1,153.26 today, stretching its 2010 advance to 17 percent. The sol fell less than 0.1 percent to 2.8058 per dollar and has strengthened 2.9 percent this year.
Candente Copper Corp. rallied today after futures contracts for the metal rose to an all-time high for the fourth time this week as speculation heightened that a supply deficit will widen. Rio Alto Mining Ltd. climbed as gold rose in New York, poised for a 10th consecutive annual gain, after investors sought a protection of wealth and an alternative to currencies.
“We’re a very small economy with a very high potential for growth in comparison to many countries in the region,” said Leoncio Altamirano, a trader at Lima-based Juan Magot y Asociados SAB. “The market has been spectacular.”
Peru’s economy is headed for 9 percent economic growth this year, Finance Minister Ismael Benavides said this week. Surging prices for copper and gold have helped boost profits and returns for companies from Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde SA to Southern Copper Corp.
Rio Alto, a Canadian gold exploration company, led gains on the Lima General Index this year, soaring more than six-fold to $2.47.
The stock gained 2.1 percent today. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB index gauge of 19 raw materials has jumped 17 percent since the end of 2009. Silver rose 1.4 percent today, extending its advance to 82 percent.
An infrastructure boom also pushed Peruvian equities higher. The country is increasing projects as it compensates for deficiencies in housing, bridges and highways, Altamirano said.
“That’s another very dynamic sector that will remain strong in 2011,” he said.
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