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Mexico’s Peso Touches 18-Month High as Growth Exceeds Forecasts

March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s peso touched an 18-month high as economic growth beat forecasts and after a bailout agreement for Cyprus eased speculation that the island’s crisis will slow the global expansion.

The currency touched 12.3220, the strongest intraday level since September 2011, before trading little changed at 12.3491 per U.S. dollar at 3 p.m. in Mexico City. The peso has risen 4.1 percent this year, the most among the dollar’s 16 major counterparts tracked by Bloomberg.

“The rally was mostly Cyprus,” Eduardo Suarez, a Latin America currency strategist at Bank of Nova Scotia in Toronto, said in an e-mailed response to questions. He said the report on Mexican economic growth was “good news.”

Mexico’s economy expanded 3.24 percent in January from a year earlier, the national statistics agency reported today. The median forecast of 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 2.60 percent increase in the proxy for gross domestic product.

Cyprus reached a deal with the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund that sets the framework for a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout for the island nation.

Yields on Mexico’s peso bonds due in 2024 climbed four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 5.04 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price fell 0.5 centavo to 143.90 centavos per peso.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan 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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