July 17 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s peso rallied to a two-month high as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told U.S. lawmakers that the central bank is prepared to act to boost growth if labor markets don’t improve.
The peso appreciated 0.5 percent to 13.1579 per dollar at 4 p.m. in Mexico City. It earlier touched 13.1516 in intraday trading, the strongest level since May 7. The currency has gained 5.9 percent this year.
Most major emerging-market currencies including the peso rose as Bernanke signaled in congressional testimony that he is concerned about the economic recovery and doesn’t view inflation as a hindrance to more monetary stimulus.
The peso rose because “there’s some probability that we could see some additional stimulus,” Mario Copca, a currency strategist at Metanalisis SA, said in a telephone interview in Mexico City. Investors are “very conscious that the labor sector is advancing at a rhythm that’s much slower” than policy makers want, he said.
The peso declined earlier after Bernanke’s prepared remarks disappointed investors by not including specific steps that the central bank would take to spur growth. The U.S. is the destination for 80 percent of Mexican exports.
The yield on Mexican local-currency bonds due in 2024 was little changed at 5.26 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price dropped 0.01 centavo to 143.12 centavos per peso.
Mexico sold all 6 billion pesos ($456 million) of 28-day Cetes and 7 billion pesos of the 91-day securities offered today, the central bank said on its website. Mexico also sold all 9 billion pesos in 175-day bills it auctioned, the bank said.
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