November 10, 2016 / 3:17 PM / in 2 years

UPDATE 2-Brazil markets tumble puts central bank, gov't on alert

(Adds local bond auction result, details on market moves)

By Anthony Esposito and Patricia Duarte

SANTIAGO/SÃO PAULO, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Brazil’s central bank and Treasury sprang into action to calm the debt market and stem the Brazilian real currency’s slide on Thursday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s victory triggered an emerging market rout.

The central bank suspended its daily currency market intervention for a second day as the real tumbled by the most since the 2011 Greek debt crisis. Its daily auctions of reverse currency swaps function like dollar purchases by investors for future delivery.

The surprise election of Trump to the White House this week has rattled emerging markets as investors fear the businessman will make good on campaign promises to limit commerce and rework trade accords.

Risk aversion weakened the real’s exchange rate past 3.3 to the U.S. dollar for the first time in two months, triggering stop-loss automatic sales of the Brazilian currency that exacerbated its drop, traders said.

The real slumped as much as 5.7 percent to 3.3902, the weakest since late June. Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 3.89 percent, but remained above the 60,000 point milestone.

Traders said they also feared President Michel Temer could face legal action after local media cited documents that showed he received 1 million reais in donations from builder Andrade Gutierrez during the 2014 re-election campaign of ousted President Dilma Rousseff, to whom he was vice president.

Rousseff faces an investigation by an electoral court calling for the cancellation of her 2014 victory due to illegal campaign donations. Her lawyers argue that any decision by the court should also apply to Temer.

The central bank announced after the market close on Wednesday it would suspend its daily intervention in currency markets for a second day on Thursday. Central bank head Ilan Goldfajn later told reporters the bank will monitor market conditions to decide whether to resume daily currency swap sales.

“We are pausing and looking at the market conditions and we are not intending to put any pressure on the FX market,” Goldfajn told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Santiago, Chile.

The central bank has held reverse currency swap auctions since last year to reduce its costly stock of traditional swaps.


Financial market volatility also drove the Brazilian National Treasury to not sell any fixed-rate local bonds, known as Letras do Tesouro Nacional (LTNs), in a regular auction on Thursday.

Traders said appetite for LTNs tends to shrink as the prospect of future volatility strengthens.

Instead, the Treasury sold 7 billion reais ($2.1 billion)worth of floating-rate bonds linked to the country’s benchmark Selic rate, known as Letras Financeiras do Tesouro (LFTs)

The government has typically resorted to selling LFTs, seen by investors as a safer bet, during periods of financial turmoil.

A source at the National Treasury told Reuters the decision was due to heavy financial market volatility following Trump’s victory.

It will assess whether to sell additional local bonds in coming auctions on a day-to-day basis, the person said. ($1 = 3.3778 reais) (Reporting by Anthony Esposito in Santiago; and Patricia Duarte in Sao Paulo; Writing by Alonso Soto and Bruno Federowski; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Chizu Nomiyama)

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