EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil real eases as cenbank acts to slow rally

lunes 21 de marzo de 2016 12:56 GYT
 

By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, March 21 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real weakened
on Monday after the central bank acted to weaken the rallying
currency for the first time in three years.
    The central bank announced late last week that on Monday, it
would sell as much as $1 billion in reverse currency swaps, are
instruments through which the central bank can weaken the real.
 
    After slumping over the last few years as Brazil's
once-booming economy slipped into a recession, the real last
week strengthened to its highest level against the U.S. dollar
in six months.
    "The central bank noticed strong dollar sales in futures
markets and stepped up to fill this demand. It's an escape
valve," said trader José Carlos Amado with Spinelli brokerage in
São Paulo.
    Many traders believe President Dilma Rousseff's possible
ouster could help rekindle investor trust in Latin America's
biggest economy.
    Some traders had also speculated that the central bank could
be aiming for a weaker currency in order to boost exports,
although a weaker real could also pressure inflation.
    The real had earlier fallen by as much as 1.8 percent, but
pared losses to about 1 percent after the central bank sold only
some of the reverse currency swaps.
    The central bank sold only 5,500 of the 20,000 reverse
currency swaps on offer. 
    Shares of state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro
SA rose ahead of quarterly results to be published
after market close.
    Local media reported on Monday that Petrobras, as the
company is known, is investigating practices in its human
resources department that may have left it vulnerable to billion
of reais in liabilities. 
    Shares of TIM Participações SA jumped over 6
percent after the resignation of Marco Patuano as Chief
Executive Officer of Telecom Italia, controller of the
Brazilian telecommunications provider. 
    Analysts saw the move as an indication of greater clout from
Vivendi, Telecom Italia's main shareholder, which could ease a
possible sale of TIM in the future.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1615 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                       Latest     Daily    YTD
                                                 pct     pct
                                               change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                 829.49     0.33    4.11
 MSCI LatAm                          2,149.05    -0.03   17.49
 Brazil Bovespa                     50,927.39     0.22   17.48
 Mexico IPC                         45,482.39      0.1    5.83
 Chile IPSA                          3,974.44     0.29    7.99
 Chile IGPA                         19,444.76     0.29    7.12
 Argentina MerVal                   12,773.02    -1.03    9.40
 Colombia IGBC                       9,699.71     0.97   13.48
 Venezuela IBC                      14,942.07    -0.03    2.43
                                                              
 Currencies                          Latest     Daily    YTD
                                                 pct     pct
                                               change   change
 Brazil real                           3.6036    -0.65    9.53
 Mexico peso                          17.3890     0.05   -0.91
 Chile peso                             676.2    -0.10    4.95
 Colombia peso                          3,072    -0.10    3.17
 Peru sol                              3.3881    -0.26    0.76
 Argentina peso (interbank)           14.4975     2.02  -10.45
                                                        
 Argentina peso (parallel)              15.43     0.84   -7.52
 
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Additional reporting by Paula
Arend Laier)