Brazil Swap Rates Drop on Tombini’s Inflation View; Real Falls

Brazil’s swap rates dropped from a six-month high as central bank President Alexandre Tombini said inflation will slow in the second half of 2013, prompting traders to pare bets on higher borrowing costs.

Swap rates on the contract due in January 2014 fell three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 7.80 percent at the close of trading in Sao Paulo after earlier climbing to 7.93 percent, the highest intraday level since Aug. 27. The real depreciated 0.5 percent to 1.9820 per dollar.

Inflation will slow as the country produces a bumper crop of grains that will help curb food-price increases, Tombini said today at an event in New York. Swap rates rose earlier after Tombini said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published yesterday that containing inflation is a priority.

“In his speech, Tombini didn’t say anything that could be given to mean that short-term monetary policy will change,” Paulo Nepomuceno, a fixed-income strategist at Coinvalores CCVM in Sao Paulo, said in a phone interview.

The central bank will meet next week to decide whether to hold the target lending rate at a record low 7.25 percent for a third straight meeting to boost growth even as inflation has exceeded the 4.5 percent midpoint of its target range for more than two years. In the minutes of its January meeting, the bank’s monetary policy committee said it would hold borrowing costs for “a sufficiently prolonged period.”

The IPCA-15 index of consumer prices rose 0.68 percent in the one month through mid-February after a 0.88 percent advance in the prior period, the national statistics agency reported Feb. 22. The median forecast of 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 0.62 percent increase. Annual inflation accelerated to 6.18 percent from 6.02 percent.

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