Mexican Peso grinds into six-week high on Monday as rate cut bets mix with seasonal flows
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Mexican Peso grinds into six-week high on Monday as rate cut bets mix with seasonal flows

  • The Mexican Peso found fresh gains against the US Dollar on Monday.
  • Mexican inflation is expected to ease sharply, propping up Banxico cut expectations.
  • Seasonal flows typically bolster the Mexican Peso at the tail end of the first quarter.

The Mexican Peso (MXN) gained ground against the US Dollar (USD) on Monday as counter-balanced rate cut expectations push the USD/MXN pair further down the charts. Common seasonal flows see bullish momentum leak into the Mexican Peso during the first quarter, and markets are forecasting a tumble in Mexican inflation.

Mexico is broadly expected to see further rate cuts from the Banco de México, aka Banxico. Mexico’s main reference rate has been held at record highs of 11.25% since April of 2023. US labor figures are also in the mix, with Friday’s Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) in the barrel. Hopes of market rate cuts from the Federal Reserve (Fed) are also weighing on Monday market action.

Daily digest market movers: Uptick in Banxico rate cut bets push Peso to six-week highs

  • Mexico’s inflation print due on Thursday is expected to print a continued decline in Mexican price growth, forecast to print at 0.12% for February versus the previous 0.89%.
  • January’s 0.89% Mexico inflation print was a 22-month high.
  • This week’s US labor figures kick off with Wednesday’s ADP Employment Change for February, forecast to jump to 150K from the previous 107K.
  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell due to testify before the Financial Services Committee about the Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Friday’s February US NFP is expected to fall back to 200K from the previous 353K, and investors will be keeping a close eye on revisions to previous prints.
  • Tuesday will kick off the US weekly data docket with ISM Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) figures for February forecast to tick down to 53.0 from 53.4.
  • The Mexican Peso typically finds bullish interest heading into the second quarter, according to the Moore Research Center (MRCI).
  • MRCI: Mexican Peso has closed higher from February 28 to April 4 about 93% of the time over the past 15 years.

Technical analysis: USD/MXN drops into new lows as Peso finds bullish bids

The Mexican Peso (MXN) is climbing on Monday, driving the USD/MXN pair down below the 17.00 handle for the first time since mid-January. The pair is down nine-tenths of a percent from last week’s peak bids near 17.12.

USD/MXN is on pace to close in the red for a third consecutive trading day, and bids are tumbling into chart territory last seen in January. 2024’s technical floor sits at January’s swing low into the 16.80 handle, and the pair continues to drop away from the 200-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) at 17.25.

USD/MXN hourly chart

USD/MXN daily chart

Mexican Peso FAQs

What key factors drive the Mexican Peso?

The Mexican Peso (MXN) is the most traded currency among its Latin American peers. Its value is broadly determined by the performance of the Mexican economy, the country’s central bank’s policy, the amount of foreign investment in the country and even the levels of remittances sent by Mexicans who live abroad, particularly in the United States. Geopolitical trends can also move MXN: for example, the process of nearshoring – or the decision by some firms to relocate manufacturing capacity and supply chains closer to their home countries – is also seen as a catalyst for the Mexican currency as the country is considered a key manufacturing hub in the American continent. Another catalyst for MXN is Oil prices as Mexico is a key exporter of the commodity.

How do decisions of the Banxico impact the Mexican Peso?

The main objective of Mexico’s central bank, also known as Banxico, is to maintain inflation at low and stable levels (at or close to its target of 3%, the midpoint in a tolerance band of between 2% and 4%). To this end, the bank sets an appropriate level of interest rates. When inflation is too high, Banxico will attempt to tame it by raising interest rates, making it more expensive for households and businesses to borrow money, thus cooling demand and the overall economy. Higher interest rates are generally positive for the Mexican Peso (MXN) as they lead to higher yields, making the country a more attractive place for investors. On the contrary, lower interest rates tend to weaken MXN.

How does economic data influence the value of the Mexican Peso?

Macroeconomic data releases are key to assess the state of the economy and can have an impact on the Mexican Peso (MXN) valuation. A strong Mexican economy, based on high economic growth, low unemployment and high confidence is good for MXN. Not only does it attract more foreign investment but it may encourage the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) to increase interest rates, particularly if this strength comes together with elevated inflation. However, if economic data is weak, MXN is likely to depreciate.

How does broader risk sentiment impact the Mexican Peso?

As an emerging-market currency, the Mexican Peso (MXN) tends to strive during risk-on periods, or when investors perceive that broader market risks are low and thus are eager to engage with investments that carry a higher risk. Conversely, MXN tends to weaken at times of market turbulence or economic uncertainty as investors tend to sell higher-risk assets and flee to the more-stable safe havens.

US Interest rates FAQs

What are interest rates?

Interest rates are charged by financial institutions on loans to borrowers and are paid as interest to savers and depositors. They are influenced by base lending rates, which are set by central banks in response to changes in the economy. Central banks normally have a mandate to ensure price stability, which in most cases means targeting a core inflation rate of around 2%.
If inflation falls below target the central bank may cut base lending rates, with a view to stimulating lending and boosting the economy. If inflation rises substantially above 2% it normally results in the central bank raising base lending rates in an attempt to lower inflation.

How do interest rates impact currencies?

Higher interest rates generally help strengthen a country’s currency as they make it a more attractive place for global investors to park their money.

How do interest rates influence the price of Gold?

Higher interest rates overall weigh on the price of Gold because they increase the opportunity cost of holding Gold instead of investing in an interest-bearing asset or placing cash in the bank.
If interest rates are high that usually pushes up the price of the US Dollar (USD), and since Gold is priced in Dollars, this has the effect of lowering the price of Gold.

What is the Fed Funds rate?

The Fed funds rate is the overnight rate at which US banks lend to each other. It is the oft-quoted headline rate set by the Federal Reserve at its FOMC meetings. It is set as a range, for example 4.75%-5.00%, though the upper limit (in that case 5.00%) is the quoted figure.
Market expectations for future Fed funds rate are tracked by the CME FedWatch tool, which shapes how many financial markets behave in anticipation of future Federal Reserve monetary policy decisions.