If you have ever wondered if American politics is just too volatile, looking into Latin America might make even the most concerned Americans feel better about having stability. Brazil is back in the news. Hint: it isn’t the good kind of news.
Brazilian President Michel Temer has denied a late-Wednesday local media report that he had requested payments to silence a politician responsible for impeaching former President Dilma Rousseff.
The allegations concerned a secret recording of President Temer approving a payment made to Eduardo Sunha, who is the jailed former speaker of Brazil’s house and who was also one of the top people behind Rousseff’s removal.
According to the local O Globo newspaper site, the tape had been submitted to Brazil’s supreme court by two senior executives of JBS as part of their plea bargain. The news has been devastating to Brazil’s financial markets, sending both the stock market and the Brazilian real lower. The Ibovespa slid by 10% in local trading before equity trading was halted on Thursday. The futures tracking the real dropped by some 6%, which also triggered halting circuit breakers.
24/7 Wall St. has taken a look at the key equities and exchange-traded funds that track Brazil. The numbers look devastating because it was expected that the less than friendly days for business in Brazil under Rousseff would not be as prevalent ahead. Obviously, this could thwart that hope.
The iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEMKT: EWZ) was down 17.8% at $32.17, in a 52-week range of $25.15 to $40.80. Its shares closed at $39.14 on Wednesday.
Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, American depositary shares were last seen down 16.4% at $8.60 after closing at $10.29 the prior day. Petrobras ADSs have a 52-week range of $5.45 to $12.56.
Banking giant Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A. (NYSE: ITUB) was trading down 16.8% at $10.42 in early trading on Thursday, after having closed at $12.53 on Wednesday. Itau’s 52-week range in New York trading has been $7.19 to $13.65.
Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) was down 9.8% at $7.70 in New York trading on Thursday morning, versus a prior close of $8.54. Vale has a 52-week range of $3.85 to $11.70.
Embraer S.A. (NYSE: ERJ) was down 6.6% at $17.84 in New York, from $19.11 on Wednesday. The airplane and aviation supplier has a 52-week range of $17.06 to $24.95.
The VanEck Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (NYSEMKT: BRF) was last seen down 14.9% at $18.33 on Thursday, versus a $21.56 close on Wednesday. Its 52-week range is $7.26 to $19.08.