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Brazilian markets open down slightly after pro-Bolsonaro riot

Brazilian markets open down slightly after pro-Bolsonaro riot
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By Geoffrey Smith

Investing.com — Brazilian stocks opened around 1% lower on Monday in the wake of a violent riot at the weekend in which supporters of the ousted President Jair Bolsonaro temporarily stormed Congress and a handful of government buildings.

By 09:10 ET (14:10 GMT), the iBovespa benchmark futures contract was down 831 points, or 0.7%, while in premarket trading in New York, the MSCI Brazil stocks ETF (NYSE:EWZ) was down 1.7% at 27.83. The Brazilian real, meanwhile, fell 1.2% to trade at 5.2904 against the dollar.

Both were within their recent trading ranges, apparently reflecting a degree of confidence that the riot will not lead to any more long-lasting political turbulence in South America’s largest economy. President Lula Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva, who was inaugurated for another term as President barely a week ago, vowed to punish the perpetrators and to ‘follow the money’ in an investigation into who coordinated the attack.

Brazil adopted a new democratic constitution in 1988 but its transfers of power have been stormy affairs in recent years, overshadowed by mutual accusations of corruption by the two leading parties. Lula was only able to run for president last year after his conviction on corruption charges was annulled.

Citi analysts said in a note that any weakness in Brazilian assets was likely to be short-lived. Others noted that Brazil’s high interest rates, a result of early action to forestall the inflation surge that rocked most of the world last year, should protect the real from depreciating very far. The central bank’s key interest currently has stood at 13.75% since August.

On Sunday, rioters had stormed the central government district, taking over Congress, the Supreme Court and other buildings in an effort to overturn the result of last year’s election, in which Lula defeated Bolsonaro. As with U.S. President Donald Trump in 2020, Bolsonaro has refused to accept the result as legitimate and refused to attend his successor’s inauguration. In contrast to Trump, though, he left the country in order to avoid the ceremony. According to the BBC, he is currently believed to be in Florida.

Bolsonaro denied instigating the riot on Sunday.

The National Guard restored order several hours after the riot started on Sunday, with the police – whose initial passivity in the face of the crowd drew sharp criticism from the government and Supreme Court at the weekend – making over 300 arrests.

Governments around the world, from the rest of Latin America to China, the U.S. and Russia, all condemned the attempted putsch. Even Ukraine, which Lula has criticized for provoking Russia’s invasion last year, added its voice – foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba offering the country’s “full support to the democratically elected government of @LulaOficial” on social media.

Source: Investing.com

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