RIO DE JANEIRO Dec 18 The Brazilian real gained
slightly on Tuesday as the central bank conducted three auctions
to sell as much as $1.5 billion on the spot market with
repurchase agreements, in an attempt to provide liquidity to the
foreign exchange market and boost the Brazilian real.
The auctions, announced on Monday, followed a rule change by
the central bank that made it easier for financial institutions
to short sell the dollar -- another move aimed at shoring up the
Dollars are usually more scarce in Brazil at year-end, as
Brazilians vacation abroad and foreign companies remit profits
abroad to boost their bottom lines.
The central bank did not say how much it sold at the end of
the three auctions. But it set cutoff rates of 2.1083, 2.1163,
and 2.1268 per dollar in each of the three auctions, with
repurchase dates for Jan. 22, Feb. 19, and March 20.
That is the highest price the central bank will pay
investors when buying back the dollars it is selling now.
The real last traded at 2.0939 per dollar, 0.1
percent stronger than Monday's close.