EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil currency firms on limited cenbank intervention

martes 22 de marzo de 2016 14:14 GYT

By Bruno Federowski and Paula Arend Laier
    SAO PAULO, March 22 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real
strengthened on Tuesday as traders bet the central bank will
stick to a strategy of limited action to slow the currency's
recent rally.
    For a second straight day, the central bank sold only some
of the reverse currency swaps -  equivalent to buying U.S.
dollars in the futures market - it had offered.
    The bank had not conducted reverse currency swap sales in
three years before Monday, leading some to speculate that the
intervention was meant to keep the real weaker than a certain
level in order to boost exports.
    But the bank only sold 15,500 contracts out of the 34,500
offered in the last two sessions, suggesting it could allow the
currency to keep strengthening as long as it does so slowly.
    Brazil's stocks and currency have rallied over the last
month as traders bet that growing chances of political change
could boost investor confidence in the ailing Brazilian economy.
    The country's benchmark stock index fell on Tuesday, hit by
weakness in financial shares. Stocks of Petroleo Brasileiro SA
  seesawed after the state-controlled oil
company reported a record quarterly loss. 
    Petrobras, as the company is known, booked a large writedown
of oil-related assets due to slumping oil prices. However, some
analysts struck a more upbeat tone, citing solid operating
profit and cash flow.
    Morgan Stanley analysts upgraded their recommendation for
the company's New York-listed shares to "equal-weight" from
"underweight," saying higher appetite for Brazilian assets and
better sentiment in oil markets should support the stock.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1745 GMT:
 Stock indexes                Latest     Daily    YTD pct
                                          pct     change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          830.44      0.17      4.4
 MSCI LatAm                   2,157.86      0.26    17.63
 Brazil Bovespa              51,008.08     -0.32    17.67
 Mexico IPC                  45,443.23     -0.09     5.74
 Chile IPSA                   3,951.21     -0.44     7.36
 Chile IGPA                  19,343.51     -0.39     6.57
 Argentina MerVal            12,879.57     -0.45    10.32
 Colombia IGBC                9,679.40     -0.21    13.24
 Venezuela IBC               14,951.28         0     2.49
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Paula Arend Laier; Editing
by Andrea Ricci)