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Brazil Swap Rates Rise as Fuel Prices Climb; Real Little Changed

Brazil’s swap rates rose as the state oil company said it would increase fuel prices and a report showed inflation was higher than forecast, increasing pressure on policy makers to lift borrowing costs.

Swap rates on the contract due in January 2015 increased three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 7.90 percent at 10:20 a.m. in Sao Paulo. The real was little changed at 1.9842 per dollar after rallying beyond 2 on Jan. 28 for the first time in almost seven months as the central bank intervened to boost the currency and contain inflation.

“The gasoline prices increase inflation worries even with the real appreciating,” Ures Folchini, the head of fixed income at Banco WestLB do Brasil, said by phone from Sao Paulo.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, said in a regulatory filing that it will increase gasoline prices at refineries by 6.6 percent and diesel by 5.4 percent. The company also said it is seeking to eliminate the discount between domestic and international prices.

The IGP-M inflation index rose 0.34 percent in the month through Jan. 20, the Getulio Vargas Foundation reported. The median forecast of 29 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 0.32 percent increase. The gauge is composed of 60 percent producer prices, 30 percent consumer prices and 10 percent construction costs.

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