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Financial News: BRAZIL: Stocks Fall As Fuel Crisis Continues Even

BRAZIL: Stocks Fall As Fuel Crisis Continues Even After Government Action

05/25/2018 - 20:08:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Ibovespa, the benchmark stock market index in Brazil, fell 1.52% to 78,897.66 points Friday - the lowest closing level since January 10, amid fears that the Brazilian government will be unable to defuse protests from truck drivers against high and volatile diesel oil prices. In the week, Ibovespa decreased by 5.04%.

"The stock market is getting dangerous. I believe it is already entering a bearish trend in the short term. I do not see a solution to the problem of the [truck drivers'] strike either. Calling the army to the streets does not seem to solve the problem," said Terra Investimentos analyst, Christian Lupinacci.

In spite of President Michel Temer's decision to authorize security forces to clear road blockades, truck drivers are still refusing to resume operations in several parts of the country. The strike already has economic consequences, with shortages of fuels and goods.

With the worsening of the mood, even the shares of Petrobras (PETR3 -0.43%, PETR4 -1.24%), which rose earlier amid news that the government would compensate the company for cutting diesel oil prices, ended lower. Rumors about the departure of the Petrobras's president, Pedro Parente, doubts about the sustainability of the current fuel pricing policy and the sharp drop in oil prices all worked against the company.

"There is a relevant chance for the current government to lose its grip and this may end up compromising Parente's stay in Petrobras. He has drawn very clear limits to government interference in the company", said Andre Perfeito, the chief economist at Spinelli Corretora.

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