World News

Brazil’s real hits new low, among worst-performing FX in world this year

By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s real slumped to a new low against the dollar on Tuesday for the third day in a row, with the lack of overseas demand for Brazilian assets against a backdrop of historically low interest rates showing no sign of reversing.

The real traded below 4.34 per dollar for the first time ever <BRBY>, intensifying its sell-off since last week when the central bank signaled its latest rate cut could be its last.

The minutes of that policy meeting on Tuesday showed that policymakers believe the effects of the deep easing cycle since last July have yet to be felt, and that more flexible credit and capital markets mean monetary policy is now more potent.

Yet the real weakened again, with the general backdrop of record low rates, tepid foreign demand for Brazilian markets and a widening current account deficit eclipsing any support from the central bank seemingly closing the door on further easing.

Brazilian “Clients remain puzzled by the lack of enthusiasm for the Brazilian market,” Standard Chartered analysts wrote in a note on Tuesday.

“The Brazilian real has defied bullish consensus repeatedly in recent months … (and) Brazilian investors have largely given up trying to fade the real’s weakness,” they said.

This marked the third day in a row the real has fallen to new lows against the dollar and takes its losses for the year to 7.5%, making the real one of the worst-performing currencies against the dollar so far this year.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; editing by Jonathan Oatis)