Brazil Real advances as House plans preliminary impeachment vote

Paula Sambo – Bloomberg, 04/11/2016

Brazil’s real advanced on growing speculation the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff is drawing closer as Congress prepared for key votes on the process this week.

Brazil’s currency, the most volatile in emerging markets as traders try to gauge the outlook for a complicated impeachment effort, gained 0.5 percent to 3.5742 per dollar at 9:21 a.m. in Sao Paulo. The real was the world’s best performing currency in the first quarter on wagers that bringing in a new government will help pull Brazil out of its worst recession in a century and shore up a record fiscal deficit.

Newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo reported more lawmakers are in favor of removing Rousseff as a special committee in the lower house was scheduled to vote Monday on whether to move forward with the impeachment request. The full house could vote as early as April 17, either squelching impeachment or setting the stage for Rousseff’s ouster in the Senate. The real tumbled last year as Brazil lost its coveted investment-grade status and a sweeping corruption scandal hit businesses and the government.

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Brazil analysts forecast slower inflation and deeper recession

David Biller – Bloomberg, 03/28/2016

Brazil analysts trimmed their 2016 inflation forecast after price increases slowed more than all analysts expected in March and the economy showed signs of a deeper contraction.

Economists lowered their 2016 inflation forecast to 7.31 percent, from 7.43 percent previously, according to the weekly Focus survey conducted March 24. They also pared their 2016 economic outlook to a recession of 3.66 percent, and lowered their 2017 growth forecast to 0.35 percent from 0.44 percent the prior week.

Brazil’s inflation in the 12 months through mid-March fell more than all economists forecast, making its return to single digits for the first time since October. The currency this month also gained most among 16 major currencies as the market gauged a greater probability President Dilma Rousseff will be impeached. While markets responded positively to the political strife engulfing the capital, it is weighing on the outlook for economic rebound.

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Brazilian Real Advances on Outlook for Rousseff’s Economic Team

Filipe Pacheco – Bloomberg, 11/10/2014

Brazil’s real rose for a second day on speculation President Dilma Rousseff will appoint an economic team that will revive growth and on wagers the U.S. Federal Reserve will avoid an early increase in interest rates.

The currency gained 0.3 percent to 2.5522 per dollar at the close of trade in Sao Paulo after dropping 3.2 percent last week. Swap rates, a gauge of expectations for changes in Brazil’s borrowing costs, fell 0.04 percentage point to 12.61 percent on the contract maturing in January 2017. The real advanced amid optimism that the next finance minister will move away from policies that helped lead Brazil into a recession in the first half of the year. Today’s increase was the biggest among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg after the South Korean won.

“There has been a lot of expectation that a new economic team will be able to restore growth,” Camila Abdelmalack, an economist at CM Capital Markets in Sao Paulo, said in a telephone interview.

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Aussie overvalued, Brazil won’t let real rise, O’Neill rays

Yoshiaki Nohara & Masaaki Iwamoto – Bloomberg, 04/18/0213

Australia’s currency is overvalued and Brasil’s weak economy means it won’t allow the real to appreciate, according to Goldman Sachs Asset Management Chairman Jim O’Neill.

“The currency I find the most interesting is the Australian dollar,” O’Neill, 56, said at a Goldman Sachs seminar in Tokyo today. “The Australian dollar is significantly overvalued.”

O’Neil said it is “easy to dislike every major currency.”Read more…

Behind the curve

The Economist, 04/20/2013

A CENTRAL bank knows it has lost control of inflation expectations when price rises become the subject of running gags. In Brazil the jokes feature tomatoes, which have suddenly become very pricey following floods, droughts and a big increase in freight costs. Social-media sites buzz with cartoons of bank robbers making off with crates of tomatoes and lottery winners bathing in purée. Even organised crime is diversifying into fruit: customs officers say that Paraguayan smugglers have added Argentine tomatoes to their Brazil-bound trade in drugs, cigarettes and knock-off electronics.

Official figures published on April 10th show that Brazil’s inflation problem goes well beyond salad. Prices rose by 6.6% during the past year, breaching the two-point tolerance band around the Central Bank’s 4.5% target. The price of more than two-thirds of the items used to calculate inflation rose in the past month. Now the mockery seems to have spurred the bank to act. On April 17th it raised the base interest-rate by 0.25 points, to 7.5%. Market watchers expect rates to hit 8.5% by the year’s end.

The belated rise comes just as it has sunk in that Brazil’s economy is failing to regain momentum after stalling last year. Fewer new jobs are being created. Industrial production and an economic-activity index widely seen as a leading indicator of GDP growth both fell in February after rising in January. Core retail sales fell for the first time in almost a decade, a particularly worrying sign given that only domestic consumption kept Brazil out of recession in 2012.

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Brazil yields to traders pouncing on gains: currencies

Joseph Ciolli & Ye Xie – Bloomberg, 03/14/2013

Efforts by Brazil to tame inflation are providing foreign-exchange traders with the biggest returns in the world by purchasing reais with funds borrowed in dollars.

Investing in real forward contracts funded by the greenback has gained 5.3 percent this year, the most of any of the 44 other currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Wagers that Brazil’s currency will rise outpaced those expecting a decline by an average of $5.6 billion this year, data from the Sao Paulo-based BM&F exchange and compiled by Bloomberg show. As recently as September there were net bets against the real.

Finance Minister Guido Mantega, who popularized the term “currency war” in 2010, told Bloomberg News last month he’s abandoning the strategy that drove the real down 19 percent in two years as the government shifts its focus to containing inflation. The central bank signaled on March 6 that it’s ready to raise interest rates from a record low 7.25 percent after dropping a pledge to hold borrowing costs steady for what it had called “a prolonged period of time.”

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Brazil seeks stronger real to boost investment -govt sources

Luciana Otoni – Reuters, 01/29/2013

Brazilian policymakers have allowed the real to strengthen past the 2-per-dollar mark as part of a strategy to cheapen imported capital goods and boost much-needed investment in industry, a source at the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

A second source on President Dilma Rousseff’s economic team stressed that the government will not allow the currency to appreciate too rapidly against the dollar nor to return to levels seen early last year, when the real at 1.7 per dollar posed a threat to Brazilian exporters.

Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Finance Ministry source downplayed the impact of the strengthening currency on inflation.

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