EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil real weaker on cenbank intervention, euro-worries weigh

Fri Feb 8, 2013 6:36pm EST

* Brazilian real closes down 0.05 pct, after cenbank move
    * Brazilian Cenbank gives nod to stronger real
    * Mexico peso down 0.05 pct, investors eye global woes

    By Alexandra Alper and Walter Brandimarte
    MEXICO CITY, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Brazil's currency cooled on
Friday after the central bank intervened to slow the real's
rally, while other Latin American currencies were mostly flat on
renewed concerns about the Euro-zone crisis.
    The real  eased 0.05 percent to close at 1.9715
after the central bank moved to halt the rapid rise of the
currency -- which has gained about 8 percent since November.
    The intervention came despite comments by a number of
policymakers, including Finance Minister Guido Mantega,
suggesting the government was ready to accept a stronger
currency to cheapen the price of imported goods and put a lid on
inflation. 
    In an interview with Reuters on Thursday night, Mantega said
the real, which last week gained past the level of 2 per dollar
for the first time in seven months, "has found a reasonable
floating band." 
    The central bank's move followed a week of intense
volatility in the currency market as investors scrambled to
figure out how policymakers were adjusting Brazil's foreign
exchange policy. 
    "While investors may be skeptical about Brazil's intentions
near-term, a solid and ongoing commitment to a stable real,
instead of a weaker real, may end up marking its return to being
a favored emerging market trade," Brown Brothers Harriman's
analysts said in a research note. 
    The real is now likely to enter the traditional Carnival
lull that will halt Brazilian markets for most of next week.
    The Mexican peso cooled 0.05 percent to 12.727 per dollar,
as renewed euro-zone concerns and upcoming U.S. spending cuts
weighed on the currency of Latin America's no. 2 economy. 
    The peso has gained more than 1 percent since the close of
2012, but has been slowly pulling off a ten-month high reached
on Jan. 17. 
    Investors "are waiting for any pretext to get some air,"
said Jorge Gordillo, an analyst at CI Banco in Mexico city, who
said European central bank governor Mario Draghi's comments on
Thursday were still weighing on the peso. 
    On Thursday, Draghi said the exchange rate is important for
growth and price stability, which investors perceived as a sign
the bank is concerned with the common currency's recent advance
and potentially could act to stem its strength. 
    Gordillo predicted that the peso would fall to around 12.90
to 13 pesos per dollar, as the deadline for automatic spending
cuts in the United States - March 1 -- draws near.
    "A lot of us analysts are saying that the peso is at its
last phase of strength," he said. 
    
   PRICES 22:30
 Currencies                     daily   YTD %
                                    %  change
                               change  
                       Latest          
 Brazil real           1.9715   -0.05    3.48
                                       
 Mexico peso           12.727   -0.05    1.08
                                       
 Chile peso           472.200    0.02    1.38
                            0          
 Colombia peso        1786.00    0.34   -1.12
                           00          
 Peru sol              2.5790   -0.04   -1.09
                                       
 Argentina peso        4.9950   -0.05   -1.65

 Argentina peso        7.6500    0.39  -11.37
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