Mexico Peso Falls as Europe Slump Overshadows U.S. Jobs, Modelo

Mexico’s peso fell as a bigger-than-forecast contraction in euro-area economies damped the outlook for global growth and the Latin American country’s exports.

The peso fell 0.1 percent to 12.6958 per U.S. dollar at 4 p.m. in Mexico City. It has advanced 1.2 percent this year, adding to an 8.4 percent rally in 2012.

While a decline in U.S. jobless claims and mounting speculation regulators may allow the purchase of Corona-maker Grupo Modelo SAB to go forward fueled demand for the peso today, it was overshadowed by investor concern about Europe, according to Mario Copca, a currency strategist at Metanalisis SA. Gross domestic product in the 17-nation euro area fell 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, the European Union’s statistics office said. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a contraction of 0.4 percent.

The currency “has been a bit under pressure, above all because of the growth data from Europe,” Rafael Camarena, an economist at Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico SAB, said in a telephone interview from Mexico City.

The peso briefly rose today amid speculation that regulators would let Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s purchase of Modelo proceed, Copca said by phone from Mexico City. The world’s biggest brewer, offered to cede full control of Corona distribution in the U.S. to Constellation Brands Inc. for $2.9 billion in a bid to salvage the Modelo deal.

Concern has mounted that the agreement, which is expected to bring a payout for holders of Mexico’s biggest brewer and a surge in peso demand, won’t go through after the U.S. sued to block the deal last month, saying it would hurt competition and raise prices for consumers.

The peso also briefly pared losses in earlier trading after a report showed U.S. jobless claims decreased by 27,000, the most in a month, to 341,000 in the week ended Feb. 9.

Yields on peso bonds due in 2024 rose two basis points, or

0.02 percentage point, to 5.11 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price fell 0.29 centavo to 143.37 centavos per peso.

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