Brazil’s real closes at weakest level in 12 years

Jeffrey T. Lewis – The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/2015

The Brazilian real closed at its weakest level in 12 years against the dollar on Friday, extending a slide that began on Wednesday, as concern about the government’s inability to get its budget and debt problems under control continues.

The real lost more than 1.7% Friday and exited active trading at 3.3488 to the dollar, according to Tullett Prebon via FactSet, after closing at 3.2904 on Thursday. The Brazilian currency hit 3.3570 during Friday’s session, and has weakened from 3.1699 at the close on Tuesday.

Brazilian Finance Minister Joaquim Levy announced Wednesday that the government is cutting key fiscal targets for this year, next year and 2017. The government’s target for its primary budget surplus, a measure of its ability to save, was slashed to 0.15% of gross domestic product for 2015, from 1.1%, and the targets for the next two years were also reduced.

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