Argentina's Central Bank (BCRA) Thursday ordered banking institutions nationwide not to increase their holdings in foreign currency until the end of the month, amid a market pressure on the exchange rate.
The Consumer Prices Index, CPI, in Chile climbed 0,4% during August totaling 3,2% so far this year and 4,8% in the last twelve months, according to the country's stats office. It is the highest since January 2016, and the tendency is to continue increasing, as had been anticipated by the Central Bank. Likewise with the US dollar.
The US dollar kept its downward trend against the Uruguayan peso Friday, closing at US $ 1 = UR $ 43.8 for interbank operations, it was reported. In Brazil, the exchange rate fell 0.7% Friday and stood at 5.44 R$ per dollar.
Argentina's peso currency plunged further into record low territory after the central bank tightened currency controls. The peso opened almost 0.1% weaker at 75.25 per U.S. dollar, traders said, and the country risk rose 38 basis points to 1,157. The black market peso or blue dollar plummeted 9.7% to open at a new all-time low 145 per U.S. dollar.
Cuba said this week it will allow some stores to sell food, personal hygiene and other consumer goods in U.S. dollars and will eliminate a 10% tax on the greenback, an effort to rake in more hard currency to purchase goods abroad.
By Geoffrey Okamoto – The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the global economy at every level. Across the world, financial conditions have tightened dramatically, with unprecedented portfolio outflows from emerging markets in terms of both size (a record of about US$100 billion) and speed, and markets effectively frozen in some cases. This has created sizable demand for U.S. dollar liquidity, with emerging markets facing sharp liquidity shortages.
The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has caused millions of people to lose their jobs and brought the economy to its knees but it has not dethroned the American dollar. On the contrary, the currency has risen in value this year, gaining six percent from its lowest point reached in early March, according to the US dollar index, which measures the greenback's value against a basket of other currencies.
Brazil’s economy minister blamed the Real’s slide to an all-time low on the coronavirus outbreak and said the currency could weaken to as much as 5 per dollar if he “messes up.” Paulo Guedes said the Real is weakening largely due to the economic impact of the epidemic, rather than a change in the country’s risk perception.
Brazil’s real posted a record low close against the dollar for a second straight day on Wednesday, after earlier sliding to within less than one centavo of its weakest-ever level as the weight of selling pressure built up on several fronts.
Brazil’s Real is sliding toward an all-time low against the U.S. dollar, but the central bank appears in no rush to intervene to slow or even reverse the fall. Despite the Real’s historical weakness, the market is functioning smoothly: depreciation, so far, has been fairly orderly, volatility is low, liquidity has not dried up, and the Real is not the only emerging market currency under pressure.