The Brazilian currency drops through the symbolic barrier of four reals to the dollar
Sao Paulo - AFP
Brazil suffered a rough start to 2016 on Monday with its currency weakening further and stock prices falling as worldwide turbulence originating in China hit the world's seventh-biggest economy.
The exchange rate broke through the symbolic barrier of four reals to the dollar, a sign of ongoing pressure on a Brazilian currency that lost nearly a third of its value in 2015.
The real weakened by 1.96 percent to 4.029 reals per dollar in midday trading. The rate had stood at 3.95 reals at the last close of trade on December 30.
The Sao Paulo stock exchange also fell Monday, with its key Ibovespa index down by 1.59 percent at 42,661 points. It had fallen by 13 percent overall in 2015.
In China, trading on the stock markets was halted early as benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped nearly seven percent following poor manufacturing data.
That led to a grim opening session for 2016 worldwide, with markets from Tokyo to Frankfurt to Wall Street sharply down.
Brazil, which hosts the summer Olympic Games in August, is struggling through a deep recession and a political crisis that has sparked impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.
The government expects the economy to contract 3.1 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. But in a fresh blow on Monday, experts polled by the Brazilian Central Bank lowered their own growth outlook to minus 3.71 percent.