Brazil’s Real Weakens After Central Bank Abandons Rate Increase

Paula Sambo – Bloomberg Business, 01/21/2016

Brazil’s real sank to a four-month low and traders priced in faster inflation after the central bank surprised economists by keeping interest rates unchanged even with consumer-price increases running at more than twice the target.

Policy makers said in a statement accompanying Wednesday’s decision that the global economic outlook was increasingly uncertain, signaling they’re prioritizing economic growth over taming consumer-price increases. Central bank President Alexandre Tombini, in an unusual statement released Tuesday, said he would take into account the International Monetary Fund’s forecast for a deeper recession in Brazil this year.

While forecasts for Brazil’s deepest and longest recession in more than a century could justify a decision to keep interest rates unchanged, the central bank didn’t communicate its strategy clearly in the weeks leading up to the meeting, said Nicholas Spiro, a London-based managing director at Spiro Sovereign Strategy. The decision to hold interest rates at 14.25 percent, when most economists expected an increase, stokes concern that it’s susceptible to political influence.

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Brazil Real gains as China measures support commodity producers

Paula Sambo – Bloomberg, 9/9/2015

Brazil’s real climbed to a one-week high as efforts by China to add to growth triggered a bounce in the prices of raw materials.

“There is scope for emerging-market currencies such as the real to strengthen given the improvement in risk sentiment,” Mark McCormick, a foreign-exchange strategist at Credit Agricole SA, said from New York.

The local currency advanced after China, Brazil’s largest trading partner, pledged to accelerate construction of some major projects and reduce companies’ tax burdens. The real also gained as President Dilma Rousseff’s administration was said to be studying a tax increase on Brazil’s top earners to raise revenue and narrow an expanding budget deficit.

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Brazil’s Real Falls Most in Emerging Markets on Economic Concern

Paula Sambo – Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/04/2014

Brazil’s real led emerging-market declines as an unexpected drop in industrial production in September added to concern that President Dilma Rousseff will struggle to revive Latin America’s largest economy.

The currency weakened 0.9 percent to 2.5189 per dollar at 2:02 p.m. in Sao Paulo in the biggest drop among 24 developing nations. Swap rates, a gauge of expectations for changes in borrowing costs, increased 10 basis points, or 0.10 percentage point, to 12.49 percent on the contract due in January 2017.

The real also fell on wagers that Rousseff will appoint a finance minister who will maintain policies that helped lead to Brazil’s first recession since 2009. One-month implied volatility on options for the real, reflecting projected shifts in the exchange rate, was the highest among 16 major currencies.

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Brazilian Real drops to five-month low as trade deficit widens

Filipe Pacheco – Bloomberg, 1/3/2014

Brazil’s real fell to a five-month low in an emerging-market selloff as economists reduced their currency forecast and the trade deficit widened to a record.

The real depreciated 1.1 percent to 2.4403 per dollar at the close in Sao Paulo, the weakest level since Aug. 21. A Bloomberg customized index tracking 20 emerging-market currencies fell 0.4 percent today to the lowest since 2009 after declining 3 percent last month. The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Latin America Currency Index of the region’s most-traded currencies, slid 1 percent today to a decade low.

Brazil’s currency will fall to 2.47 per dollar by the end of the year, according to the median of about 100 estimates in a central bank survey of economists published today, compared with the forecast of 2.45 a week ago. Brazil posted a trade deficit of $4.06 billion in January, the biggest on record.

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The bugbear of Brazil

The Economist, 1/16/2014

THE year did not begin well for Dilma Rousseff. The real ended 2013 one-third weaker against the dollar than when she took office as Brazil’s president three years ago. Car sales were down for the first time in a decade. More dollars flowed out of the country than at any time since 2002.

Most perniciously, on January 12th the bean-counters announced that inflation hit 0.92% in December, the highest monthly rise in ten years. That pushed the annual figure to 5.91%, above market expectations. The jump prompted the Central Bank to raise the main interest rate on January 15th, not—as analysts had long forecast—by a quarter of a percentage point, but by half a point, to 10.5%.

Inflation is a Brazilian bugbear. The economic costs are clear: high inflation hits both the poor, struggling to make ends meet, and the indebted middle classes as interest rates rise. But it is also a political issue. Most adults recall the hyperinflationary era of the early 1990s, when shopkeepers would adjust prices each morning, and then change them again in the afternoon.

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Real falls as fed concern joins Brazil deficit in damping demand

Gabrielle Coppola – Bloomberg, 11/25/2013

Brazil’s real declined on speculation the Federal Reserve will curtail monetary stimulus amid concern the government’s deteriorating finances will lead to a reduced credit rating.

The currency depreciated 0.1 percent to 2.2826 per U.S. dollar at 10:09 a.m. in Sao Paulo after rising 1.5 percent last week, its first weekly gain since Oct. 18. Swap rates on the contracts due in January 2015 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 10.86 percent.

“The dollar’s recovery is tied to the possibility that the Fed may reduce stimulus,” Joao Paulo de Gracia Correa, currency manager at Correparti Corretora de Cambio, said in a telephone interview from Curitiba, Brazil.

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Brazil’s Tombini sees no dollar shortage in local spot market

Francisco Marcelino – Bloomberg, 11/17/2013

Brazil’s central bank President Alexandre Tombini didn’t see any shortage of foreign currency in the country’s spot market in the week the real declined to a two-month low.

The nation and other emerging markets face a “sell-off” because of “interest rate normalization” in advanced economies, Tombini said in a speech delivered in Santiago on the evening of Nov. 15 and published on the Central Bank of Brazil’s website yesterday. The world’s second-biggest emerging economy after China is “providing currency hedge for the private sector” with an $100-billion intervention program for 2013, Tombini said.

Brazil’s real has fallen 5 percent since Oct. 31, when the government said its budget deficit widened to the largest in almost four years on concern about a credit rating downgrade. On Nov. 13, the currency dropped to 2.3341 per dollar, the weakest since Sept. 4.

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