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Mexican Peso Drops as U.S. Jobless Claims Damp Export Outlook

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Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s peso fell the most among major Latin American currencies after a report showed unemployment claims were higher than forecast in the U.S., the biggest market for the nation’s exports.

The peso depreciated 0.4 percent to 12.8438 per U.S. dollar at 4 p.m. in Mexico City, the biggest decrease among the dollar’s most-traded counterparts in Latin America. It rose yesterday to 12.7875, the strongest closing level since Oct. 4.

The peso weakened “after jobless claims came out slightly above expectations,” Ramon Cordova, a currency trader at Banco Base SA in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico, said in a telephone interview. “With unemployment and employment being strong indicators of the health of the economy, that’s why they affect the peso.”

Jobless claims in the U.S., which buys about 80 percent of Mexico’s exports, increased to 388,000 in the week ended Oct. 13 from a revised 342,000 in the prior period that was the lowest since February 2008, the Labor Department reported today. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a rise in claims to 365,000.

The figures had a bigger impact on Mexico than other countries because of the trade ties to its northern neighbor, Cordova said.

Yields on peso bonds due in 2024 rose three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 5.53 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price decreased 0.28 centavo to 139.53 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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