Mexican Peso General Info
Contributing to a little more than 2% of the foreign exchange market’s daily turnover, the Mexican peso is the world’s second most traded emerging market currency, behind only the Chinese yuan. The peso is subdivided into 100 centavos.
The peso’s value is heavily influenced by commodities prices, particularly oil.
As an emerging market currency, the peso is considered riskier than currencies from major developed nations, which means that its value will fall against those currencies (especially JPY, CHF, USD, GBP and EUR) during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.
Mexicans are mostly concerned with the value of their currency against the US dollar, since more than 80% of Mexican exports go to the US, with whom Mexico shares a free trade agreement.
The peso has consistently depreciated against the dollar since its all-time high in 1972, when USD/MXN traded at just 0.01. By 1990, USD/MXN was at 2.7; at the end of 1994, after the currency was devalued by Mexico’s government, USD/MXN stood at 5.7; by the year 2000, the USD/MXN was meandering around 9.5; in 2009, the rate reached 15.6; and in January 2017, the peso reached an all-time low when USD/MXN traded as high as 22.03.MXN Foreign Transfers MXN Travel Money Read our Travel Guide to Mexico
Mexican Peso - Recent Performance
In mid-October, USD/MXN rose to a five-month high of 19.512, marking the Mexican peso’s weakest level against the dollar in five months.
The peso was one of the stars of the first half of 2017, having strengthened by 17% against the dollar between January and mid-July. From that point, the currency lost value and went on to give back more than a third of its gains by mid-October after dollar sentiment took a turn for the better and on the back of concerns that NAFTA negotiations with the US and Canada may unravel. In October, NAFTA trade talks continued to dominate peso news flow.
A favourable “NAFTA 2.0” agreement is seen as vital to the outlook for the Mexican economy and, consequently, to the Mexican peso, given that nearly 80% of Mexico’s exports go to the US.