Mexico International Reserves Rose to $161.2 Billion Last Week

Mexico’s international reserves rose to 161.2 billion in the week ended Aug. 24, the central bank reported today on its website.

Reserves registered a net increase of $1.4 billion, the bank said, after falling $262 million the previous week.

Mexico’s reserves have climbed 13 percent this year, giving central bank Governor Agustin Carstens greater leeway to intervene in the foreign exchange market to buoy the peso. The currency on June 1 touched the weakest level against the dollar since March 2009 on concern Europe’s sovereign debt crisis would damp global economic growth.

Mexico uses dollar auctions to limit daily declines in the peso after it tumbled 11 percent against the dollar in 2011, the most among major Latin American currencies. Since November, the central bank has been offering $400 million daily at an exchange rate that’s at least 2 percent weaker than the previous day.

This year, the peso has strengthened 5.7 percent against the dollar, the most among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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