Brazil central bank calls auction to buy dollars

Brazil’s central bank called an auction on Monday to buy U.S. dollars on the spot foreign exchange market as part of ongoing efforts to boost international reserves and limit volatility in the currency market. Brazil’s currency, the real (BRBY), was trading 0.06 percent stronger at 1.772 per U.S. dollar shortly after the announcement. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Writing by Elzio Barreto; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Google is investigating whether one or more employees may have helped facilitate a cyber-attack that the U.S. search giant said it was a victim of in mid-December, two sources told Reuters on Monday. [Read the full article]

The euro hit a four-month low against a broadly firmer pound on Monday as persistent concerns over Greece’s ballooning fiscal deficit kept the single European currency under selling pressure in subdued trade. As Greece’s debt burden highlighted the fragility of some euro zone members, investors awaited comments from a meeting of the 16-country bloc’s finance ministers on Monday. The ministers are due to discuss the unreliability of Greek statistics, and are said to be running out of patience with Athens as it has repeatedly misled its euro zone peers about the size of its budget deficit. “The Greek developments are definitely casting a shadow on the euro,” said Rob Minikin, currency strategist at Standard Chartered in London. “It underlines how a strong euro could compound problems in the region, and reinvigorates the argument for a weaker euro,” he said, adding he expected the euro to weaken broadly in the near term. [Read the full article]

Iceland is heading toward a referendum on a deal to repay more than $5 billion to Britain and the Netherlands for money lost in its banking crisis, a vote expected to have a huge impact on the island’s financial future. Latest opinion polls show Icelanders will reject the so-called Icesave bill due to what are seen as harsh terms, in a ballot to be held in late February or early March. If voters do kill the bill, the law reverts to an earlier version passed in August. However, Britain and the Netherlands rejected those terms as repayments aren’t guaranteed after 2024. The Icelandic left-centre government is frantically trying to restart talks in order to fashion a new agreement. So far, there is little indication Iceland’s two larger European neighbours are willing to revisit the issue. Iceland has said it would welcome outside mediation of the dispute. [Read the full article]

Mexican stocks gained on Monday as tycoon Carlos Slim’s America Movil rebounded from recent losses while the peso strengthened a bit. The IPC stock market index .MXX added 0.64 percent to 32,467 as America Movil (AMXL.MX), Latin America’s leading cellphone operator, rose 1.11 percent to 29.99 pesos. The peso MEX01 MXN= added 0.13 percent to 12.67 per U.S. dollar in quiet trade as U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr Day holiday. “The peppy peso can be mostly attributed to global fundamentals, with the U.S. dollar posting losses globally, commodities trading higher and global equity markets positive,” 4CAST consultancy said in a note to clients. America Movil, the most heavily weighted stock in the IPC index, dropped last week on news it plans to acquire Slim’s poorer-performing Telmex (TELMEXL.MX) and Telmex Internacional fixed-line assets. [Read the full article]

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