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Brazil real slides below 4.04 per dollar, lowest in over 7 months

BRASILIA, May 16 (Reuters) - Brazil's real weakened sharply on Thursday, falling below 4.04 per dollar for the first time in more than seven months as worries intensified over the slow progress of government reforms in Congress and a darkening economic outlook.

The dollar rose 1% to a high of 4.0411 reais, a level not seen since Oct. 1 last year. The benchmark Bovespa stock index was down 1.75% in late trading and Brazilian interest rate futures contracts rose across the board, with some posting their biggest gains in nearly two months. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Richard Chang)