May 14, 2012 / 6:20 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil real at 2 per dlr, 1st time since July 2009

2 Min Read

* Investors testing for central bank intervention

* Brazil gov't not worried over real's slide-Mantega

By Asher Levine

SAO PAULO, May 14 (Reuters) - 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.

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