Bloomberg News

Mexican Peso Strengthens as U.S. Jobs Boost Economic Confidence

March 15, 2012

Mexico’s peso advanced after a drop in U.S. jobless claims fueled optimism that Latin America’s second-biggest economy will benefit from a pickup in growth in its largest trading partner.

The peso gained 0.5 percent to 12.6575 per U.S. dollar at 3 p.m. in Mexico City. The currency weakened 1.3 percent yesterday to 12.7265, its biggest daily decline since Dec. 12. It’s up 10.1 percent in 2012.

Claims for jobless benefits dropped last week in the U.S. to match the lowest level in four years, adding to evidence of a better job market, Labor Department figures showed today. A report last week showed February employment growth capped the best six months since 2006, adding to speculation the American recovery will translate into stronger growth in Mexico, which sends 80 percent of its exports to the world’s biggest economy.

“The U.S. jobless claims number came out good,” Ramon Cordova, a currency trader at Banco Base SA in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico, said by telephone. “This is good for Mexico if the U.S. continues growing.”

Mexico’s gross domestic product may rise closer to 4 percent this year, rather than the 3.5 percent the government has forecast, should the U.S. economy keep improving, central bank Governor Agustin Carstens said last month in Mexico City.

Applications for unemployment insurance payments fell by 14,000 to 351,000 in the week ended March 10, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 357,000, according to the median estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Claims reached the same level a month ago, the lowest since March 2008.

The yield on Mexico’s peso-denominated debt due in 2024 fell two basis point, or 0.02 percentage point, to 6.52 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price rose 0.22 centavo to 130.05 centavos per peso.

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

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


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