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Brazil leader applauds conciliatory Trump, stocks tumble

by Reuters
Wednesday, 9 November 2016 12:56 GMT

BRASILIA, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Brazil's government congratulated U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on his victory on Wednesday, even though its foreign minister had called the prospect a "nightmare" earlier this year.

Brazil's currency weakened by 2 percent against the dollar, and its benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 3.7 percent in early trading due to risk aversion and economic uncertainty following Trump's victory.

President Michel Temer praised the conciliatory nature of Trump's victory speech and said a Trump administration would not alter the solid relationship between the two countries with the largest economies in the Americas.

"Relations between Brazil and the United States are institutional. I am sure that nothing will change," Temer said in a radio interview in which he congratulated Trump for winning.

A spokesman for Temer said the Brazilian leader praised the "balanced tone" of Trump's victory speech.

There was no immediate comment from Foreign Minister Jose Serra who had labeled the possibility of a Trump presidency a "nightmare" and urged Americans to vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a newspaper interview in August.

Serra had added at the time: "Do nightmares, at times, come true? They do, but I prefer not to think about this."

Trump has worried Latin Americans with his views on immigration and vows to expel illegal immigrants and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

When Serra became foreign minister in mid-May, he quickly shifted Brazil away from its close ties to Venezuela and other leftist governments in Latin America, and he emphasized the need to base Brazilian foreign policy on trade and not ideology.

Temer sees boosting trade with the United States as key to lifting Brazil out of a two-year recession.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Lisandra Paraguassu)

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