Brazil Rules Out Aggressive Interest Rate Cuts (EWZ, BZF)
Tim Seymour: There appears to be a lack of consensus within the Brazilian government about where interest rates should be headed.
Hope for a massive rate cut on the horizon has helped Brazilian stocks avoid the worst of the losses in global markets over the last week:
Local papers still quote anonymous sources inside the Rousseff government who say that they want the benchmark Selic rate to fall a full 3 percentage points to a target of 9% by the end of next year.
But other anonymous sources say a more moderate series of policy moves is more likely, provided that the euro crisis doesn’t not turn out to be as severe as the 2008 credit crunch.
For her part, Rousseff still sees any slowdown in global economic activity as an opportunity to guide interest rates lower. If inflation becomes an issue, she hopes to use alternative policy tools to fight it.
Given Brazil’s long track record, any attempt to slash local rates risks touching off inflation, no matter how poorly the global growth environment is faring.
On the other side of the coin, unless we get clarity before the Brazilian central bank’s next policy meeting on Oct. 19, traders will remain a little confused.
Confusion is generally not a good thing for markets that are already unsettled. Look to see support for Brazilian funds like iShares MSCI Brazil Index ETF (NYSE:EWZ) erode.
Emerging Money provides insightful and timely information about the increasingly important world of Emerging Market investments. CNBC Emerging Markets Contributor Tim Seymour leads the team of Emerging Money to bring you cutting edge global news and analysis.
About Tim Seymour: Tim is a founder of Emerging Money. He is a founder and Managing Partner at Seygem Asset Management, and The Emerging Markets Contributor to CNBC. Seygem Asset Management focuses on investing throughout the global emerging markets asset class. With a view that emerging and developing economies will continue to outpace the economic growth and advancement of developed economies, Seymour has devoted a career to investing in the dominant markets of tomorrow, today. Seymour’s career has included significant experience in both alternative asset management (hedge funds) and capital markets, having launched two hedge funds, and built the largest Russian broker dealer in the USA. Seymour started his career at UBS, focusing on international credit (cash, swaps, forex) in a specialized hedge fund group (New York). Seymour completed the firm’s training program after graduating with an MBA in international finance from Fordham University. Seymour received his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University.