December 11, 2012 / 7:25 PM / 5 years ago

Brazil's economic team favors real at 2.03-2.04/dlr -source

2 Min Read

* Weaker real ideal to support economy without stoking inflation

* Recent currency losses were not justified by fundamentals

By Patricia Duarte

SAO PAULO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Brazil's currency, the real, was at a satisfactory level when it traded around 2.03 and 2.04 reais per dollar, a member of the government's economic team said.

Those levels, where the real traded during much of the period between July and November, are seen by a large part of Brazil's economic team as adequate to support exports and investments, without stoking inflation.

"We were satisfied with 2.03 to 2.04 reais," the source said on condition of anonymity, adding however that it is natural for the currency to weaken at year-end, when demand for dollars usually grows as foreign companies repatriate profits.

On Monday, central bank's monetary policy director Aldo Mendes said the real remained weaker than the level projected by a central bank model.

The real was around 2.08 per dollar when Mendes made his remarks. It closed at 2.077 per dollar on Tuesday, and analysts say it is likely to stabilize around that area after the government made it clear last week it does not want a real weaker than 2.1 per dollar.

That message became obvious after a series of government actions last week, including central bank interventions in the FX market and measures to facilitate dollar inflows, boosted the real from a 3-1/2-year low of nearly 2.13 per dollar.

The source argued that the actions were needed because there was "no change in economic fundamentals" to justify the real's losses.

"There was nothing but noise to change the currency's level," the source said.

The real weakened sharply at the end of November after Brazilian government officials, including Finance Minister Guido Mantega, suggested a weaker currency was needed to boost domestic industry.

Losses increased on Nov. 30 after data showed the Brazilian economy grew at only half the pace forecast by economists in the third quarter, adding to bets on a weaker real.

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