EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's real finds support in cenbank intervention
SAO PAULO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real stabilized on Friday following a session marked by extreme volatility as the central bank stepped up market intervention to soothe jittery investors. Other Latin American currencies were mixed, while most of the region's stock markets were little changed. The real fluctuated in early trading but settled in positive territory by the afternoon. The currency strengthened about 0.7 percent to 3.96 per dollar, pushing it further away from the important 4 per dollar psychological threshold crossed on Tuesday. The real hit its weakest level of all time earlier this week, sparking fears among investors that the currency's decline would continue apace. Thursday's plunge was halted late in the session after central bank chief Alexandre Tombini signaled that the bank had not ruled out selling part of the country's $371 billion foreign reserves to calm the market. That calm returned during Friday's session, aided by another unscheduled swap auction held by the bank during morning trading. "The market tests (the central bank) and it responds, and that repeats," said a trader who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak with journalists. The real has been in a tailspin this year, weakening nearly 33 percent against the dollar as economic recession, lower commodities prices, expectations for higher interest rates in the United States and political turbulence at home rattle investors. "We still didn't get any fundamental change in the negative picture for Brazil that would convince us that we have reached an inflexion point," Brown Brothers Harriman analysts wrote in a client note on Friday. Elsewhere in Latin America, Chile's peso slipped back following a sharp gain in the previous session, while Colombia's peso posted modest gains for the second straight day. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1721 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 789.71 0.51 -17.84 MSCI LatAm 1899.08 3.28 -32.59 Brazil Bovespa 45160.3536 -0.29 -9.69 4 Mexico IPC 42582.97 -0.03 -1.30 Chile IPSA 3730.39 0.08 -3.13 Chile IGPA 18274.04 0.04 -3.16 Argentina MerVal 9620.069 3.57 12.13 Colombia IGBC 9293.48 -0.11 -20.12 Venezuela IBC 12121.44 -1.16 214.13 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.9632 0.68 -32.95 Mexico peso 16.968 -0.60 -13.11 Chile peso 701 -0.39 -13.50 Colombia peso 3081.3 0.64 -22.50 Peru sol 3.2231 -0.39 -7.57 Argentina peso 9.4025 0.00 -9.07 (interbank) Argentina peso 16.02 -0.06 -12.61 (parallel) (Reporting by Asher Levine and Bruno Federowski; Editing by Christian Plumb)
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