The Brazilian Stock Exchange has collapsed due to the confirmation of the first case of coronavirus in the country and the spread of various cases around the world. The Brazilian markets reopened this Wednesday afternoon, after the celebration of the carnival. Ibovespa, the main reference point, registered a 7% drop, reaching 105,718 points, the biggest drop since 2017. All the actions that make up the index have fallen. The risks of the impacts of the new virus on the economy are also reflected in the exchange rate: the commercial dollar is up 1.15%, reaching 4.44 reais, the record value for the currency since 1994. To contain The appreciation of the US currency, the Central Bank has announced, even before the start of the opening auction, a sale of 500 million dollars in the futures market.
In recent days, a wave of contagion has spread across Europe, mainly Italy, South Korea and Iran. On Tuesday night, Brazil announced the first case of a 61-year-old man, originally from São Paulo, who recently returned from Italy. The case, confirmed on Wednesday by health authorities, occurred a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of the risk of a global coronavirus pandemic.
Asia also reported hundreds of new cases of coronavirus, including the first infected American soldier. The United States Government has already warned of an inevitable pandemic. For the fifth day in a row, stock exchanges around the world plummeted, the price of gold rose again, reaching a maximum of seven years, and the profitability of US Treasury bonds declined to record lows.
WHO estimates that China recorded a total of 77,780 cases of coronaviruses, which include more than 2,666 deaths. The number of cases is growing more slowly in China, but outside the country today there are 2,459 cases in more than 33 countries, which have already represented 34 deaths.
Brazil already estimates lower growth
The coronavirus crisis comes at a delicate time for Brazil. This week, financial market analysts have reduced the estimate of growth of the Brazilian economy for this year. According to the Focus bulletin of the Brazilian Central Bank, which brings together the projection of more than 100 institutions, the GDP forecast in 2020 has gone from 2.23% to 2.20%. It has been the second consecutive fall of the indicator.
For Itaú Bank, the estimate of the growth of Brazil's economy may be reduced again in the coming weeks if the disease continues to spread throughout the world. “The most intense external risk [for the Brazilian economy] is the coronavirus and the measures to contain it. If it lasts a whole semester, it will have an impact on world and Brazilian GDP, ”said the bank’s chief economist, Mário Mesquita.