By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In an active day on the financial markets worldwide, the dollar reached R$3.20 and closed at the highest level in more than a month yesterday (July 7th). The U.S. dollar ended the day being sold at R$3.183, and hit the highest level since May 29th, when the U.S. currency had closed at R$3.187. The dollar is up 2.36 percent in July and 19.7 percent in 2015.
It has been a drastic change in currency values over the last five years, when in 2010 the Brazilian real (BRL) had soared to an annual exchange rate of R$1.66 to US$1. In March 2015, the real continued a downward trend that started in April 2014, falling sharply against the U.S. dollar.
The real fell to a twelve year-low on March 19th and closed at R$3.29 BRL to US$1, which represented a 16.0 percent depreciation over the same day the previous month. On an annual basis, this represented a 40.2 percent decline in value from the same day of the previous year.
The movement of the dollar yesterday, when it saw gains worldwide, is considered by the Brazilian government press a result of the tensions surrounding Greece’s debt. Reuters reported that investors moved out of Latin American securities and into safe-haven investments such as the U.S. dollar on Tuesday.
This drove down the value of currencies including the Chilean, Mexican and Colombian pesos. Yet Brazil’s real saw the biggest move in the region, with growing concerns over a faltering economy and political unrest following massive corruption scandals.