Central bank calms real


SAO PAULO -- The central bank of Brazil last week waded into the foreign exchange market on several occasions to shore up the battered real, which is down 27% so far this year.

Last Wednesday, the central bank intervened four times to prop up the currency, a move described by local traders as an "emergency operation".

The bank first carried out two emergency sales of dollar-linked notes worth 4 billion reals ($1.7 billion), followed by two separate dollar selling sprees. In the previous week,