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.Read our Travel Guide to Mexico
MXN - Market View
With one week of August remaining, holders of Mexican pesos would have been extremely happy with its performance this year. With USD/MXN at 17.68, the peso was up by 17% against the dollar in 2017 and by nearly 25% on its January lows. It was also up comfortably against the euro and yen. In July, USD/MXN reached a 15-month low (a peso high) of 17.45. The peso really turned the tide after reaching an all-time low in January when USD/MXN reached 22.03.
The peso has benefitted this year from broad US dollar weakness, and in June, July and August from positive risk sentiment and a revival in the prices of major commodities.
The peso remained strong in August in spite of Donald Trump's ‘bad cop’ routine, which investors had begun to ignore. Entering the final week of August, President Trump was still threatening to break up NAFTA. “Personally, I don't think we can make a deal…I think we'll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point,” said Trump. But unlike in April when “we’re leaving NAFTA” threats sent the peso tumbling, the peso didn’t weaken on Trump’s August remarks.
Of course, should NAFTA really be broken up, or a new deal detrimental to Mexico be created, the peso would be severely wounded.