By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Wednesday registered another day of optimism in the Brazilian financial market, with the stock market rising and the U.S. dollar depreciating against the local currency once again. The Brazilian bourse closed up by 1.99 percent, while the US dollar closed at R$3.237/US$1. This is the first time in almost a year the U.S. currency falls below R$3.30/US$1.
After surging against the Brazilian real (BRL) in 2015, the U.S. currency has slowly been depreciating against the real this year, despite the political and economic turbulence facing the country.
So far in June, the U.S. has accumulated a depreciation of 10.4 percent against the local currency and for 2016 the depreciation has been of eighteen percent.
The Brazilian financial market has benefited from the foreign environment, where investors took advantage of a plunge in stock prices due to the UK decision to withdrawal the European Union, and purchased bonds at significantly lower prices.
This led to an overall hike in stock markets across the planet. In Brazil foreign investors were also attracted by comments made by new Central Bank president, Ilan Goldfajn, that indicated that the institution is likely to maintain the country’s Selic (benchmark interest rate) at 14.25 percent longer than previously forecast by economists.
Yet despite the good news on the market front, the Central Bank announced on Wednesday that the consolidated public sector’s primary deficit registered in May the worst result of the month in fifteen years. According to the institution the primary deficit surged from R$6.9 billion in May of 2015 to more than R$18 billion in May of 2016.
In the five first months of the year, the accumulated deficit is already at R$13.714 billion in comparison to a surplus of R$25.547 billion registered during the same period last year.