Peso hits new 7-year high against the US dollar

The Mexican peso appreciated to its strongest level in more than seven years on Tuesday, reaching 17.37 to the U.S. dollar before weakening slightly.

One greenback was worth 17.39 pesos at the close of North American markets, whereas a dollar was trading at just under 17.47 pesos at the same time on Monday, according to data from Mexico’s central bank. The peso has now appreciated against the dollar during four consecutive trading days.

The 17.37 level was the peso’s best position against the U.S. dollar since May 2016, when a greenback bought as few as 17.2 pesos. The Mexican currency got close to Tuesday’s level three weeks ago when it reached 17.42 to the dollar, which at the time was a seven-year high.

Positive data on light vehicle production and exports released by the national statistics agency Inegi early on Tuesday was cited as one factor that contributed to the strengthening of the peso. Inegi reported that 1.56 million light vehicles were produced in the first five months of the year and 1.27 million of that number were exported.

Analysts also cited a recent spike in prices for raw materials and increased appetite for emerging market assets as factors that helped the peso.

High interest rates in Mexico (currently 11.25%) and strong incoming flows of foreign capital and remittances are among other factors that have contributed to a 10.8% strengthening of the peso against the US dollar this year.

“At an international level investors see the Mexican peso with a potential for greater appreciation due to nearshoring, which, if taken advantage of, means greater productivity and therefore a stronger peso,” tweeted Gabriela Siller, director of economic analysis at the Mexican bank Banco Base. “Excess global liquidity also favors the Mexican peso,” she added.

In a note to clients, Siller predicted that the peso will continue to strengthen against the dollar to “probably” reach the 17.2 level in the near term.

Analysts with trading platform OctaFX were more bullish on the peso, saying that the currency could soon strengthen to the 17.05 level, the news agency Reuters reported.

With reports from El Economista, Reuters and La Jornada  

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