* Investors testing for central bank intervention
* Brazil gov't not worried over real's slide-Mantega
By Asher Levine
SAO PAULO, May 14 The Brazilian real
weakened sharply in spot trading o n M onday and briefly crossed
the 2 per U.S. dollar threshold for the first time since July
2009 as uncertainty over the impact of a potential Greek exit
from the euro drove investors away from riskier assets.
Comments by Finance Minister Guido Mantega added more
pressure to the currency o n M onday after he said the real's
current weakness should not be considered "worrisome" because it
benefits local exporters.
The real has slipped around 6.5 percent against the dollar
in 2012, following a series of central bank dollar purchases at
auction and a fall in Brazil's benchmark interest rate to
single-digit levels near record lows.
Some investors began pushing the real to the 2-per-dollar
threshold early in the session to test whether the central bank
would intervene to stop it from depreciating and stoking
inflation, analysts said.
Brazil's central bank president, Alexandre Tombini, said on
T hursday that the bank would continue assessing all factors that
affect inflation, including the exchange rate.
By 14:54 p.m. (1754 GMT) the real had lost 1.85 percent to a
bid price of 1.9915 to the U.S. dollar.