Tuesday, July 26, 2011

'Speculators Beware": Brazil Sends New Warning as U.S. Dollar Drops to Lowest Since 1999; Currency Wars Alive

Brazil's finance minister, Guido Mantega, sent a new message to investors who believe that the Brazilian currency appreciation will continue in the short term. "We may take further action to prevent this overvaluation. We cannot predict them, but you can just wait."

"Whenever we talk about this, it always ends in measures. Therefore, speculators beware." The dollar touched its lowest level since early 1999, to R $ 1.543.

Mantega also stressed that the exchange is not being used by the government as a major instrument to combat inflation. He said this is being done mainly by fiscal and monetary policy by the Central Bank.

According to the minister, the exchange rate is a matter of concern for two reasons. On the one hand, there are problems of the world economy, since many countries have financial difficulties, which in turn reflect the devaluation of their currencies.

On the other hand, he argued, "there is currency manipulation, an exchange war among countries that seek to reduce the value of their currencies in order to export more and have more competitive."

The minister said some countries are so in need to export, to expand revenues and employment levels, that they resort to triangular operations in "signs of deception" to sell their products to Brazil.

The Brazilian currency ETF is BZF.

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