Bloomberg News

Mexican Peso Rises as Auto Production Fuels Economic Optimism

January 12, 2012

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s peso rose after the nation’s auto industry group said production hit a record last year, fueling optimism for Latin America’s second-biggest economy.

The peso strengthened 0.2 percent to 13.6087 per U.S. dollar at the close in Mexico City, from 13.6329 yesterday. The currency weakened as much as 0.5 percent in intraday trading. It’s gained 2.4 percent in 2012, after posting the worst performance among Latin America’s major currencies last year.

The peso, which earlier fell amid concern a German economic slump would damp global growth, rebounded after Mexico’s Automobile Industry Association said auto production last month outpaced that of December 2010, according to Eduardo Suarez, a Latin America currency strategist at Scotia Capital Inc. Output hit a record in 2011, Eduardo Solis, president of the auto association known as AMIA, said during an event in Mexico City.

Production of cars and light trucks rose to 2.56 million units last year, a 13.1 percent increase from 2010, he said.

“The correlation with the auto industry and the economy as a whole is really high,” Suarez said in a telephone interview from Toronto.

Mexico’s industrial production rose 3.2 percent in November from a year earlier, the national statistics agency said today on its website. Economists had forecast an increase of 3.6 percent, according to the median estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The yield on Mexico’s benchmark peso-denominated bond due in 2024 climbed four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 6.6 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price of the security fell 0.46 centavo to 129.51 centavos per peso.

--With assistance from Adriana Lopez Caraveo and Jonathan Roeder in Mexico City. Editors: Marie-France Han, Glenn J. Kalinoski

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Bain in Mexico City at bbain2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net


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