EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's real falls after central bank intervenes
BRASILIA, May 2 (Reuters) - Brazil's real weakened nearly 2 percent on Monday, hurt by a drop in global commodities prices and heavy central bank intervention aimed at curbing gains in the currency, which recently hit eight-month highs. Other Latin American currencies and stock markets saw light traded as holidays in Europe and Asia reduced volumes and risk appetite. Commodities prices fell 0.7 percent as Brent crude fell nearly 2 percent. The Brazilian central bank offered $2 billion in reverse swaps earlier on Monday, the second day of government intervention. The real weakened nearly 2 percent to 3.5068 to the U.S. dollar. Brazil's currency has strengthened partly due to hopes of a more investor-friendly government in Brasilia ahead of the expected suspension of leftist President Dilma Rousseff during an impeachment trial. Economists, however, warn that a stronger currency may hurt exports and delay Brazil's recovery from its worst recession in decades. "Favorable domestic drivers would have had a significantly larger impact on the real were it not for heavy central bank intervention," Goldman Sachs Alberto Ramos and Tiago Severo wrote in a research report. In equities markets, bank shares led the Brazilian Bovespa stock index slightly lower, a reaction to rig builder Sete Brasil Participações SA's move to file for protection from creditors on Friday. Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Bradesco SA , Banco Santander Brasil SA and state-controlled Caixa Econômica Federal and Banco do Brasil SA all had Sete Brasil as client. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1543 GMT: Stock Latest daily % YTD % change indexes change MSCI Emerging Markets 835.21 -0.59 5.8 MSCI LatAm 2259.22 -1.43 25.26 Brazil Bovespa 53736.65 -0.32 23.96 Mexico IPC 45623.53 -0.35 6.16 Chile IPSA 4006.25 0.1 8.86 Chile IGPA 19691.47 0.18 8.48 Argentina MerVal 13722.97 0 17.54 Colombia IGBC 9944.02 -0.18 16.34 Venezuela IBC 15749.64 0.5 7.96 Currencies Latest daily % YTD % change change Brazil real 3.5068 -1.96 12.55 Mexico peso 17.2470 -0.45 -0.10 Chile peso 662.1 -0.32 7.19 Colombia peso 2833.47 0.44 11.85 Peru sol 3.2909 -0.12 3.74 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.2300 0.25 -8.77 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.63 0.21 -2.46 (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Paul Simao)
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