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Brazil FX helped by solid trade surplus as domestic tensions intensify

Forex Sep 03, 2021 07:26AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Brazilian Real and U.S. dollar notes are pictured at a currency exchange office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in this September 10, 2015 photo illustration. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/File Photo/File Photo
 
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By Gabriel Burin and Tushar Goenka

BUENOS AIRES/BENGALURU (Reuters) - Brazil's real will continue to get some aid this year from solid trade surpluses and further interest rate hikes that should help avoid bigger losses for the currency as domestic tensions intensify, a Reuters poll showed.

The real has been rangebound, trading 4.90-5.40 against the U.S. dollar for roughly three months, while Brazil benefits from an export boom fueled by China's recovering demand and a weak exchange rate after the coronavirus-related hit of 2020.

A strong current account result has become the economy's brightest spot, driving hard currency into Brazil at a time when some investors who are too worried about local politics keep selling the real, pushing it downwards.

In the short term, it is likely to settle near the mid-point of its recent interval, close to 5.15, not far off where it is trading now, according to median estimates of 22 strategists in a poll taken Aug. 31-Sept. 2.

"The trade balance, commodity prices, terms of trade, interest differentials, and a reduction in global risk aversion, in general are associated with a stronger BRL," said Ramon Wiest, executive manager at Caixa Economica Federal.

Brazil posted a $7.7 billion trade surplus in August, keeping a stellar performance of record monthly levels due to a steady flow of high-volume sales of key commodities like soybeans and iron ore.

Also favoring the local currency, the central bank is expected to hike its rate further to 7.0% by the end of 2021, according to a separate Reuters poll, closing the year with a staggering increase of 500 basis points, cumulatively.

Still, the real was projected to depreciate 4.0%, from Thursday's levels of 5.18, to change hands at 5.40 against the greenback in 12 months, when Brazil will be going through the final leg of the campaign for next year's presidential vote.

Reuters poll graphic on the outlook for USD/BRL and USD/MXN: https://tmsnrt.rs/3kQKV3a

That softer outlook reflects the country's bitter political climate. Cranking up the rhetoric, President Jair Bolsonaro said last week he saw three alternatives for his future: winning the 2022 elections, death or prison.

He has previously questioned Brazil's electronic voting system and threatened to not accept October's vote results. Bolsonaro trails former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in most opinion polls.

In Mexico, the peso will follow a softer trend into next year after months of unremarkable trading performance. It is expected to trade at 20.45 per U.S. dollar in 12 months, shedding around 2.3% from this week's trading levels.

The main concern is how stimulus tapering will pan out in the United States. "The peso will tend to weaken as expectations of a more restrictive stance by the U.S. Federal Reserve increase," said Ricardo Aguilar, chief economist at Invex.

(For other stories from the September Reuters foreign exchange poll:)

(Reporting and polling by Gabriel Burin in Buenos Aires; Additional polling by Mumal Rathore, Susobhan Sarkar and Devayani Sathyan in BENGALURU; Editing by Ross Finley and Jonathan Oatis)

Brazil FX helped by solid trade surplus as domestic tensions intensify
 

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Comments (2)
Charlie Alfa
Charlie Alfa Jul 26, 2022 2:27PM ET
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It’s funny how they post an article about Brazilian currency and it’s written by someone who is in Argentina and another one in India… Away from the reality in Brazil. How can we trust on those news?They should hire people in Sao Paulo for that.
Ana Paula Rodrigues Pereira apaularplu
Ana Paula Rodrigues Pereira apaularplu Sep 03, 2021 3:55PM ET
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Brazil is preparing for a mega demonstration on September 7th, the day to commemorate its independence, for the people to take to the streets for freedom, justice and democracy. In general, the protesters are supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro. The concentration will be in Brasília and São Paulo but there will be in all states, for example in Santa Catarina, more than 20 cities have confirmed demonstrations. It's going to be gigantic! Brazil has never experienced such legal uncertainty! The ministers in the Supreme Court of Brazil tore up the Constitution! The left lost the elections but took power because everything it judicialized in the Supreme Court!  Day 07 Independence Day, reset in the justice of Brazil! The population is fed up with these corrupt in power!
Evelyn Avila
Evelyn Avila Sep 03, 2021 3:55PM ET
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that's amazing
 
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