S2E15: Why is the Brazilian real underperforming its emerging market peers?
The Real remains one of the most volatile emerging market currencies that we cover, with levels of implied probability that exceed just about all of its regional peers. BRL sold-off aggressively at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, falling to a record low of around 5.9 to the US dollar. The currency stabilized in the second half of last year and has largely held its own versus a broadly stronger dollar in most of 2021 so far.
It has, however, sold-off again in the past 3 months or so - down around 10% since the end of June. This makes the Real the worst performing currency in the EM spectrum during that time, despite the ongoing interest rate hike cycle from the Central Bank of Brazil - which has raised rates by 425 basis points since March.