Friday, June 21, 2024

Peso trades at strongest level to dollar in 3 years

The Mexican peso closed at its strongest level against the U.S. dollar in almost three years on Wednesday, with one greenback buying fewer than 19 pesos for the first time since February 2020.

One U.S. dollar was worth 18.94 pesos at the close of trading, according to data from Mexico’s central bank.

The most recent previous time that the value of a greenback dropped below 19 pesos was February 21, 2020, when it bought 18.91 pesos at the close of that day’s trading.

The rise in the value of the peso on Wednesday came as the dollar weakened ahead of the release of U.S. inflation data on Thursday.

Gabriela Siller, director of economic analysis at Banco Base, said that the market is anticipating that the data will show inflation has cooled in the U.S., “which means the Federal Reserve won’t have to be so aggressive in the hikes [it makes to interest rates] this year.

Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, President López Obrador’s communications chief, noted on Twitter that the peso had strengthened to below 19 to the dollar.

“In that way the Mexican currency consolidates itself as one of the best [performing] currencies at an international level at the beginning of 2023,” he wrote.

The peso also performed well last year, being just one of four currencies that appreciated against the U.S. dollar, according to a report by the EFE news agency. The others were the Russian ruble, the Brazilian real and the Peruvian sol.

The peso closed at 19.5 to the U.S. dollar at the end of 2022, an improvement of 5% compared to the beginning of the year, Bank of México data showed.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum celebrated the peso on her Twitter feed as “one of the best currencies in the world.”

High inflation in Mexico last year led the central bank to lift its benchmark rate by 75 basis points on four consecutive occasions prior to a 50 bp hike in December. The rate is currently set at a record-high of 10.5%.

The Bank of México’s tightening of monetary policy and a record-high inflow of remittances were among the factors that propped up the value of the peso in 2022.

With reports from EFE and El País 

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