Brazilian real weakens to nearly 4 reais to the dollar

A board showing the real-U.S. dollar exchange rate and that of several foreign currencies is pictured in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 16, 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A board showing the real-US dollar exchange rate and that of several foreign currencies

The Brazilian currency, the real, has weakened again in trading on the foreign exchanges.

It fell on Wednesday by nearly 2% against the US dollar to 3.95 reais to the dollar.

So far this year the Brazilian currency has dropped in value by almost 33%, the weakest performance of any of the world's major currencies in 2015.

One of the main reasons for the real's weakness has been the fall into deep recession of the Brazilian economy.

This has been allied to widespread worries about the government's troubled attempts to balance its budget.

Meanwhile there has been almost continuous political turmoil, involving attempts - recently thwarted - to impeach the President Dilma Rousseff.

Those involved allegations that she broke the law when setting Brazil's 2014 budget.

That campaign against her has also run side-by-side with a huge public scandal involving some of her political associates, and bribery and corruption, at the giant state-owned oil company Petrobras.

The continuing economic and political crisis has led in the past few months to the worth of the Brazilian government's bonds being down-graded to the status of "junk" by two ratings agencies.

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