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ECOPETROL S.A. (ECO)

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Ecopetrol S.A. : Colombia Stocks Decline After Five-Day Rally; Peso Ends Flat

05/03/2012 | 05:08pm US/Eastern

BOGOTA (Dow Jones) -- Colombian stocks saw their five-session rally come to an end Thursday, while the peso ended flat against the dollar after climbing to a 10-month high earlier in the session.

The Colcap, which is the Colombian Stock Exchange's benchmark index, declined 0.1% to end at 1,812.08 points.

Shares of national oil company Ecopetrol (ECOPETROL.BO, EC) managed to hold on to its sharp gains from the previous session, ending the session unchanged at an all-time high of COP5,850. The oil company earlier this week announced a 28% increase in unconsolidated net income in the first quarter compared with the same quarter of 2011, to $2.5 billion.

Meanwhile, the Colombian peso ended at COP1,756.55 to the dollar, virtually unchanged from COP1,756.60 a day earlier, according to Set-FX. The peso reached COP1,751 in early-morning trading, its strongest intraday level since last July.

The yield on Colombia's peso-denominated bond due July 2024 closed at 7.045% after beginning the session at 7.070%. Yields have been declining for weeks due to lower consumer price inflation that's expected to continue trending lower.

-By Dan Molinski, Dow Jones Newswires; 57-310-867-6542; dan.molinski@dowjones.com

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