Mexico Peso Rallies On Comments From Trump Administration Officials

By Joseph Adinolfi Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The Mexican peso strengthened against the dollar on Thursday after several top Trump administration officials stressed the importance of maintaining positive relations with the U.S.'s southern neighbor. The peso strengthened early in the day, part of a broad-based rally in emerging-market currencies, after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered what some market strategists characterized as a lackluster defense of the U.S.'s strong dollar policy. The dollar was down 1.4% at 19.65 pesos in recent trade, compared with 19.94 pesos late Wednesday in New York. He also emphasized that relations between the two countries remain positive. The currency added to its gains later in the day after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said his trip to Mexico was "forward-looking," and that officials from the two countries were focused on their common interests. He also said that Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray also said the meeting was "a good step" toward cooperation. The currency is presently trading at levels not seen since Nov. 9, the day after the U.S. election. It rallied sharply earlier in the week after Mexico's central bank introduced a new hedging facility. "[President Donald Trump] said a lot of inflammatory stuff during the campaign but in reality their relationship is going to have to be one of mutual cooperation and strong ties," said Win Thin, global head of emerging-market currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

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