SAO PAULO, Feb 14 The Brazilian real
strengthened to a seven-month peak on Tuesday after the central
bank resumed currency intervention following a two-week pause.
The real firmed as much as 0.6 percent to 3.1095 to
the dollar before paring back gains to around 0.3 percent in
early afternoon trading.
Gains were limited as the central bank indicated it could
allow around $4.3 billion worth of currency swaps, which
function like future dollar sales, to expire next month.
The bank sold $300 million in currency swaps on Tuesday
morning to roll over March maturities. Should it maintain that
pace until the end of the month, it will roll over $2.7 billion
of the roughly $7 billion due next month.
Some had speculated the bank could allow all of those
contracts to expire after it refrained from conducting any
auctions in recent weeks.
The central bank currently holds $26.5 billion worth of
currency swaps on its balance sheet, down from more than $100
billion two years ago.
Other Latin American currencies were mostly flat ahead of
testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that will
be scrutinized for clues on the timing of the next interest rate
Earlier on Tuesday, emerging market stocks inched up to set
19-month highs, but trading volumes were thin as investors
avoided big bets before Yellen's speech.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1440 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI Emerging Markets 937.38 0.21 8.49
MSCI LatAm 2621.38 0.08 11.9
Brazil Bovespa 66771.84 -0.29 10.87
Mexico IPC 47557.52 -0.22 4.19
Chile IPSA 4339.39 -0.44 4.53
Chile IGPA 21649.25 -0.4 4.41
Argentina MerVal 19533.91 0.13 15.46
Colombia IGBC 10041.21 -0.36 -0.86
Venezuela IBC 32848.87 0.47 3.61
Currencies daily % YTD %
Brazil real 3.1012 0.27 4.77
Mexico peso 20.2700 0.06 2.34
Chile peso 642.2 -0.02 4.44
Colombia peso 2859.5 0.30 4.97
Peru sol 3.258 0.06 4.79
Argentina peso (interbank) 15.4100 0.52 3.02
Argentina peso (parallel) 16.4 0.18 2.56
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)