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Mexico Peso Rises as Exporters Sell Dollars Before Tax Deadline

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s peso rose, paring its second weekly decline, amid speculation exporters are selling dollars to raise funds for tax payments before a month-end deadline.

The peso rose 0.5 percent to 12.7474 per U.S. dollar at 3 p.m. in Mexico City, reducing its decline this week to 0.6 percent. It has strengthened 9.3 percent this year, the most among major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Local exporters are bringing back their dollar receipts before their annual tax payment is due at the end of the month, said Javier Benavides, head of currency trading at Banco Base SA. The currency earlier declined after a report showed an unexpected drop in new home sales in the U.S., which buys about 80 percent of Mexico’s exports.

“Local corporations are selling dollars,” Benavides said in an interview from San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico. A stronger U.S. currency this week is “another chance” for local companies to raise pesos at lower costs to meet their tax payments, he said.

The yield on Mexico’s peso bonds due in 2024 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 6.51 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price rose 0.18 centavo to 130.12 centavos per peso.

Until this week, the peso had advanced 10 percent in 2012 as a falling U.S. unemployment rate sparked optimism that American consumers will boost their purchases of cars, appliances and beer made in Mexico.

Europe, China Manufacturing

The peso may underperform the Brazilian real in the “short term” as investors unwind their bullish positions amid “risk aversion,” analysts at Citigroup Inc. wrote in a note yesterday. The peso has advanced 6 percent against the real this year as Brazil’s authorities took measures to weaken the currency in a bid to support manufacturers.

The peso declined this week as reports showed manufacturing in Europe and China contracted in March. In the U.S., new home sales dropped 1.6 percent to a 313,000 annual pace, the slowest since October, the Commerce Department said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Bain in New York at bbain2@bloomberg.net; Ye Xie in New York at yxie6@bloomberg.net

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

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