The dollar ended Friday (28) down by 0.62%, sold at R$5.39, reaching its second session in a row with losses. It is the lowest value reached in almost four months, since October 1, 2021, when the American currency closed at R$ 5,369.
With today’s performance, the dollar ends the week with an accumulated devaluation of 1.2% against the real, after falling 1.05% last week and 2.1% the previous week. In the month, the losses add up to 3.33%.
The Ibovespa, the main index of the Brazilian Stock Exchange (B3), also closed the day down 0.62%, at 111,910.10 points, interrupting a sequence of three consecutive highs. Even so, the week was positive for the indicator, which accumulated gains of 2.72% since Monday (24). In January, the high is even greater, 6.76%.
The dollar value disclosed daily by the press, including the UOL, refers to the commercial dollar. For those who are going to travel and need to buy currency at exchange brokers, the value is much higher.
Interest rate market
Despite the losses against the real, the dollar remained strong against the currencies of other developed countries, boosted by the stronger signal from the Fed (Federal Reserve, the American Central Bank) regarding inflation. This scenario led markets to bet on more interest rate hikes – now close to zero – than expected throughout 2022.
“With the Fed stoking the ‘hawkish’ fire [política mais austera, com juros mais altos para controlar a alta dos preços]we expect the dollar to strengthen, but only moderately,” Citi strategists said in a report released today.
While higher rates in the US tend to boost the dollar, several emerging countries — particularly Latin American countries such as Brazil — have shown “continued momentum from positive data,” Citi added. This happens, according to the bank, because investors are also aware of high interest rates here, which increases the attractiveness of local currencies.
In Brazil, for example, several market agents have already pointed out the high level of the economy’s basic interest rates (Selic), currently at 9.25% per year, as a factor of negative pressure on the dollar. The expectation, according to the latest Focus Bulletin, is that the Selic rate will reach double digits by the end of 2022, at 11.75% per year, which can help the real.
Unemployment on the radar
In addition to monetary policy, investors also reflected on the latest unemployment data released today by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). The unemployment rate in Brazil stood at 11.6% in the quarter ended November 2021 — a decrease from the 13.1% recorded in the previous three months.
Despite the fall, workers are earning less. In the quarter analyzed, real income (which already deducts inflation) fell by 4.5% compared to the previous quarter, from R$2,559 to R$2,444. It is the lowest yield in the IBGE’s historical series, which began in 2012. In one year, the drop is even greater, at 11.4% (R$ 2,757).
In all, the lack of work still affects 12.4 million Brazilians.