The average price of the U.S. dollar in the Monex market, where amounts greater than $1,000 are traded, rose ¢10.50 in the last four sessions, going from ¢568.06, on Wednesday, March 18, to ¢578.64, this Tuesday, March 24.
The Banco Central (Central Bank) decided to intervene in this market on Tuesday with a sale stabilization operation, which is a direct sale of foreign currency, with almost US$1.8 million.
The last time the entity used this tool was on February 3 with a sale of US$500,000.
The increase remains close to the normal fluctuation range that the currency has had this year, where it has reached a minimum value of ¢564.61 and a maximum value of ¢578.64.
At the banks, the price of the currency has also risen. The average buy to the public went from ¢563.22, on Wednesday, March 18, to ¢572.33, for today, March 25, and the sell went from ¢568.70 to ¢579.70, in that period.
Economist José Luis Arce, director of FCS Analisis y Estrategia, considers that it reflects the uncertainty that exists due to the situation of the coronavirus pandemic and also points out that the Central Bank has enough reserves in dollars to make an orderly adjustment, if required.
“It seems to me that it is expected at this juncture for several reasons: there is uncertainty and people are dollarizing and because there is an external shock that affects the economy, which strongly hits two of the channels through which foreign currency enters the country: tourism and external financing flows (loans, etc.),” commented Arce.
“So far this year, the exchange rate (Monex weighted average) has shown stability, during 2020 the colón observed a slight devaluation of the order of 0.06% (0.36 colones per dollar) and has fluctuated between ¢564.6 and ¢577.6 per dollar. For their part, the financial institutions show a positive balance (what they buy is greater than what they sell), which indicates the existence of a sufficient supply of dollars in the economy,” said Luis Diego Herrera, economic analyst at Grupo Financiero Acobo.
“The situation that the country is going through due to the coronavirus, could make us think of a possible impact on the price of the dollar. However, on the one hand, the country is paying less for the oil it imports and that represents savings; but, on the other hand, with the closing of borders, tourists who contributed dollars to the economy will stop entering; which are the two great scenarios that we face regarding the price of the US currency,” explained the analyst.