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Mexican Peso Gains to Four-Month High on U.S. Payrolls Report

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s peso rose to a four-month high after U.S. payrolls climbed more than forecast in January and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell, boosting confidence in the world’s biggest economy.

The peso rose 1.1 percent to 12.6596 per U.S. dollar at the close in Mexico City, from 12.8013 yesterday. It was the strongest closing level since Sept. 8. The currency has jumped 10.1 percent this year, the most among major Latin American currencies tracked by Bloomberg. It gained 2 percent this week.

The U.S. jobless rate fell to the lowest in three years. The 243,000 increase in payrolls was the most since April and exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey, Labor Department figures showed in Washington. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest since February 2009.

“For Mexico it’s very important,” Eduardo Suarez, a senior currency strategist at Scotia Capital Inc., said by phone from Toronto. “The signal is supportive, and it’s consistent with the data that we’re seeing,” which “has been fairly strong in both Mexico and the U.S.”

Mexico sends about 80 percent of its exports to the U.S.

The yield on Mexico’s peso-denominated bonds due in 2024 rose six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 6.32 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price of the securities fell 0.68 centavo to 132.34 centavos per peso.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan J. Levin in Mexico City at jlevin20@bloomberg.net

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

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