Anna Gross and Jonathan Wheatley in London. 32 MINUTES AGO
Two central banks in Latin America intervened this week to prop up their currencies, which had fallen to record lows against the dollar as political friction and social unrest spread across the continent.
The Chilean central bank said on Thursday it would sell as much as $20bn in currency interventions, equivalent to half of its international reserves, starting on Monday. Brazil’s central bank also sold dollars several times this week, after not having done so for three months, as both nations tried to apply the brakes on currency depreciation.
The central banks’ moves to try and boost their currencies come as slow income growth and corruption rattle countries across Latin America, fuelling the flames of social and political unrest, most recently in Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. In Chile, violent demonstrations have caused 26 deaths and 13,000 injuries.