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Mexican Peso Rises as U.S. Jobless Claims Data Boosts Confidence

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s peso rose the most in a month after first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments in the U.S. dropped, boosting the outlook for the economy of the Latin American country’s biggest trading partner.

The peso gained 1.1 percent to 12.7241 per U.S. dollar at 4 p.m. in Mexico City, from 12.8624 yesterday. It was the currency’s biggest gain since Feb. 3. The currency has advanced 9.5 percent this year.

Applications for jobless benefits decreased 2,000 in the week ended Feb. 25 to 351,000 in the U.S., less than the 355,000 median forecast in a Bloomberg survey, Labor Department figures showed today. The number matches that in the Feb. 11 week, which was the lowest since March 2008. The U.S. is the destination of about 80 percent of Mexican exports.

“The market took it well,” Pepe Curiel, a currency trader at Intercam Casa de Bolsa SA, said by phone from Mexico City. “The Mexican economy is very connected to the American economy because we’re neighbors and because it’s our biggest trading partner. Good data from the U.S. also influences us because of this closeness.”

The yield on the peso-denominated debt due in 2024 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 6.51 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price fell 0.14 centavo to 130.23 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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