Brazil markets battered but Temer clings on

Brazilian markets plummet as allegations that President Michel Temer condoned bribes to silence a key witness deflate investor optimism about the prospects for ambitious pension and labor reforms. But as Kate King reports, Temer defiantly said he would not resign.

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Hush money accusations have plunged Brazil back into political and economic turmoil
Protesters calling for the President’s resignation
after the Supreme Court announced an investigation into whether he condoned bribing a potential witness in a major corruption probe
Allegations, the President denies
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT, MICHEL TEMER, SAYING:
“At no moment did I authorize anyone to be paid so that they’d remain quiet. I did not buy the silence of anyone. I will not resign. I repeat, I will not resign.”
Those comments disappointing traders who’d hoped for a swift end to the crisis.
Shares of state-controlled companies, lost about a fifth of their value,
and the nation’s currency fell over 7 percent
While Brazil’s stock index closed 8.8 percent lower, its biggest daily decline since the 2008 financial crisis.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) MIRAE ASSET DIRECTOR, PABLO SPYER, SAYING:
“This is a serious, brutal situation. If the allegations are true, we will stop advancing towards the investment grade, the circuit breaker was not activated out of the blue, the stock exchange fell a lot, more than 10 percent.”
Brazil’s economy was already mired in recession
the latest revelations leaving economists worried that promised pension and labour reforms will now be curtailed.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)…

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