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Around the World's Markets: Sao Paulo

SHARE PRICES were higher in late morning trade, with the Bovespa index of leading shares up 100 points, or 1.24 per cent, to 8,100. The real firmed slightly to 1.1902 to the dollar from 1.1903.

Traders said the market was pondering a possible interest-rate cut resulting from a Central Bank monetary council meeting due to start last night after market close. Meanwhile, a top aide to the finance minister said agreement was expected before the end of this week on the $30bn IMF-led loan package.