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Dave Sherwood

Chile central bank holds benchmark rate steady even as protests hammer economy

04 Dec 2019

SANTIAGO Chile´s central bank said on Wednesday it would hold its benchmark interest rate steady at 1.75%, and would likely keep it there for the next several months, even as weeks of protests begin to hammer the country's economy.

Chile announces $5.5 billion economic recovery plan as protests bite

03 Dec 2019

SANTIAGO The Chilean government announced plans on Monday to roll out a $5.5 billion economic recovery plan and issue more debt in foreign currencies after rioting and protests triggered the worst monthly contraction in a decade.

Chilean lawmakers warn democracy at stake as violence spikes

28 Nov 2019

SANTIAGO Chilean lawmakers agreed late on Wednesday to fast-track reforms to beef up security, warning that a resurgence in violence and vandalism was threatening to derail the country's 30-year-old democracy.

Chile's Pinera asks for help from military even as abuse allegations mount

27 Nov 2019

SANTIAGO Chile's president asked lawmakers to allow troops back on the streets on Tuesday to defend public infrastructure, even as a human rights group reported "grave" abuses by security forces during five weeks of rioting in one of South America's richest countries.

Lithium miner SQM dodges impacts from Chile protests, hit by lower prices

21 Nov 2019

SANTIAGO Chilean miner SQM , the world's No. 2 lithium producer, said a month of violent protests in the South American nation would not dent the company's sales or volume forecasts for 2019.

Chile police stopped rescue workers helping dying protester - human rights watchdog

17 Nov 2019

SANTIAGO Chile's independent human rights watchdog said on Saturday it would file a formal complaint for murder against police officers who allegedly prevented paramedics from attending a heart attack victim amid a protest Friday.

Chile's stock market jumps on plans to dump dictatorship-era constitution

15 Nov 2019

SANTIAGO Chile's stock exchange posted its biggest daily gain in 11 years after lawmakers agreed on Friday to hold a referendum on replacing the country's dictatorship-era constitution, bowing to protesters furious over inequality and social injustice.

Chile's finance minister expects job losses, fuel hike in wake of protests

15 Nov 2019

SANTIAGO Chile's finance minister predicted on Thursday that as many as 300,000 jobs could be lost because of the impact of four weeks of rioting on one of Latin America's strongest economies. | Video

Chile's finance minister calls for return to 'normality' as peso slides

13 Nov 2019

SANTIAGO Chile's finance minister warned on Tuesday of the "grave consequences" for the nation's economy of three weeks of often violent unrest, after the peso slid 4% to hit a historic low against the dollar.

UPDATE 1-Chile's October exports plummet 21% amid unrest, copper, lithium down

07 Nov 2019

(Adds context, value of lithium exports) By Dave Sherwood Nov 7 Chile's export revenue plunged by one-fifth to $5.3 billion in October, the central bank said on Thursday, an early sign of a faltering economy amid the worst unrest since the South American nation's return to democracy in 1990. Weeks of sometimes violent protests, riots, arson and looting in Santiago and elsewhere have led to at least 23 deaths and more than $1.5 billion in damage to businesses, according to authorities and rights groups. The value of copper exports from the world's top producer fell by 22% in October to $2.5 billion, driven primarily by falling prices for the red metal. Chile's copper mines have mostly maintained production and kept operations running normally despite weeks of unrest in the country, industry insiders told Reuters this week, though there have been incidents at some operations and uncertainty lingers. The value of lithium carbonate exports, meanwhile, fell 9% to $73 million in October. Chile is the world's No. 2 producer of lithium, a critical ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles. Protesters from indigenous communities around Chile's Atacama salt flat, among the world's richest reserves of the ultralight metal, blocked access to lithium operations two weeks ago. Top producer Albemarle said the protests had not impacted production. Chilean miner SQM did not respond to requests for comment. Import revenue also fell 20%, to $5.6 billion in October, central bank data showed. October Sept October 2019 2019 2018 Trade balance -$307 mln -$19 mln -$313 mln Exports (billions of $5.257 $5.205 $6.626 dollars) Imports (billions of $5.564 $5.224 $6.939 dollars) Copper export revenue $2.515 $2.763 $3.244 (billions of dollars) (Reporting by Dave Sherwood; editing by Jason and Bernadette Baum)

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