EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's real falls after central bank intervenes
(Adds final prices) BRASILIA, May 2 (Reuters) - Brazil's real weakened almost 1.5 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 trade as holidays in Europe and Asia helped reduce volumes. Commodities prices fell more than 1 percent as Brent crude fell about 3 percent. The Brazilian central bank offered $2 billion in reverse swaps, the second day of government intervention. The real weakened 1.45 percent to 3.4900 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 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 a client. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2100 GMT: Stock Latest daily % YTD % change indexes change MSCI Emerging Markets 835.57 -0.55 5.22 MSCI LatAm 2257.90 -1.49 23.4 Brazil Bovespa 53561.53 -0.65 23.56 Mexico IPC 45707.87 -0.17 6.35 Chile IPSA 4004.04 0.05 8.80 Chile IGPA 19679.84 0.13 8.42 Argentina MerVal 13549.01 -1.27 16.05 Colombia IGBC 9934.81 -0.27 16.23 Venezuela IBC 15617.70 -0.34 7.06 Currencies Latest daily % YTD % change change Brazil real 3.4900 -1.45 13.09 Mexico peso 17.2070 -0.22 -0.13 Chile peso 661.5 -0.23 7.29 Colombia peso 2834 0.43 11.83 Peru sol 3.302 -0.45 3.39 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.1800 0.60 -8.44 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.62 0.27 -2.39 (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Paul Simao and Tom Brown)
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