Brazilian Real Advances After Meirelles Says Recovery in Sight

Brazil Is Unraveling Before Our Eyes
  • Finance minister tells WSJ crisis may end sooner than thought
  • Brazilian currency world’s best performer year to date

The real advanced after Brazil’s finance minister reassured investors that the country’s economic crisis may end sooner than many analysts forecast.

The currency rose 0.6 percent to 3.3947 per dollar on Monday, following gains in developing nations and commodities as riskier assets rebounded on signs the campaign for the U.K. to stay in the European Union was gaining momentum.

The real is the world’s best performing currency this year on speculation that a new administration will take measures to revive growth in Latin America’s largest economy. Brazil’s recovery hinges on Congressional approval of spending caps, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Saturday, adding that he was confident the bill would pass. A constitutional amendment to curb government spending for as long as 20 years would end uncertainty over the country’s public finances, Meirelles said in a Financial Times interview published Sunday.

There’s positive sentiment regarding Meirelles remarks, said Georgette Boele, an analyst at ABN Amro Group NV in Amsterdam. "Still, this is a very fluid situation and we should expect volatility."

Brazil’s real advanced up to 1.2 percent earlier before losing steam along with other emerging-market currencies. External markets are the chief drivers of swings in the currency today, according to Joao Paulo de Gracia Correa, the head of foreign currency at brokerage SLW in Curitiba, Brazil. "Domestic factors are not driving the real today," he said.

Investor sentiment in recent days has been determined by Britain’s debate over whether to stay in the EU, and bookmakers’ odds suggest the chances of a ‘Leave’ vote have faded since the murder of pro-European lawmaker Jo Cox last week.

Brazilian swap rates on the contract maturing in January 2018, a gauge of expectations for interest-rate moves, were unchanged at 12.78 percent.

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