The exchange rate on Wednesday rose ¢6.55 colones over the rate at close the day before, a level not seen in more than two years.
The increase force the Central Bank to intervened by selling US$1 million dollars, according to figures published on the Central Bank website. It is the first time that the banking authority intervened in the “intrabandas” since June 12, 2008.
On average, the currency was trading at ¢514.24 colones to US$1 at Monex, the highest since June 5, 2012. On Tuesday the exchange rate closed at ¢507.69.
During the day of trading Wednesday (8am to 4:30pm), the dollar traded as high at ¢526. Despite the increase, trading volume remained stable according to the Central Bank.
The increase is based on the growing demand for US dollars in both the private and the non-banking public sector, which includes the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (Costa Rica’s oil refinery) and the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (Costa Rica’s Social Security).
At the banks, exchange rates ranged anywhere from ¢501 at Cafsa to ¢510 at BAC San José and ¢526 at Citibank.
At the beginning of the year, experts estimated a rise in the exchange rate due to a reduction in the expansionary monitary policies of the United States.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve cut an additional US $10 billion from its economic stimulus program, in a move that rattled stock markets already worried by recent poor jobs figures. The cut follows an earlier US$10 billion reduction to the program in December. At this rate, the program, which started in September 2012, could be over by the end of the year.The US also repeated its pledge to keep interest rates close to zero, where they have been since 2008.