Dollar Reaches Nine-Year Low in Brazil. Real Up 19%

Booming times at Brazil's Bovespa stock exchange The real, the Brazilian currency rose to a nine-year high as the US dollar slumped and investor demand for commodities and higher-yielding assets increased. Last April 30, Standard & Poor's upgraded Brazilian debt sending the real and the São Paulo Bovespa stock index to new records.

The real rose 0.8% to 1.6410 per dollar from 1.6545 on Thursday, May 15. The currency reached 1.6402, the strongest since April 1999. The real has gained 19% against the US dollar over the past 12 months, the second-best performance among the 16 most-traded currencies after the Norwegian krone.

The Bovespa index finished the week at 72.766,93, up 1.78% from Thursday, which represents the eight's highest daily record so far this year. Since January the index has increased 13.9%

Brazil's exports have tripled since Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office in January 2003 on rising world demand for soybeans, iron-ore, beef and cars.

The economy expanded 5.4% in 2007, the fastest in three years, helped by rising exports and falling interest rates. The Brazilian economy is forecasted to expand 4.5% this year.

The central bank raised the rate a half-point from 11.25% last month, the first increase in three years, in a bid to stem inflation. Policy makers next meet on June 3 and June 4.

Mercopress

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