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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil real weakens in volatile trading amid nationwide strikes

April 28 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real weakened in volatile trading on Friday as traders assessed the implications of nationwide strikes led by Brazilian unions to protest President Michel Temer's austerity measures. Some investors worried that the demonstrations could hamper Temer's campaign to raise lawmaker support for reforms of the country's pension system and labor laws, seen as key to lift Latin America's largest economy from a deep recession. Others argued that uncertainty had already reflected on asset prices, after tight votes in Congress last week raised doubts over the government's strength.

The Brazilian real fell as much as 1 percent after strengthening 0.3 percent in early trading. Volatility also spiked ahead of the settlement of the month-end Ptax rate, which is widely used to price foreign exchange contracts in Brazil. The country's benchmark Bovespa stock index, however, was firmly up, reacting to a heavy batch of corporate updates. Shares of GPA SA were the biggest gainers after stronger-than-expected margins helped Brazil's largest retailer swing to a profit in the first quarter.

Trading in other Latin American markets was muted, with traders mostly shrugging off weaker-than-expected U.S. gross domestic product figures. The Chilean peso fell 0.6 percent, while the Mexican peso rose 0.5 percent.

By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Reuters
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