Mexican Peso trips down against US Dollar after hot US PPI data

Source Fxstreet
Mar 14, 2024 15:58
  • Mexican Peso faces losses against a resurgent US Dollar, reacting to positive US retail and inflation reports.
  • Banxico Deputy Governor Mejia signals potential for early interest rate cuts, which weighs on the Mexican currency.
  • US economic strength challenges Fed's easing timeline as traders trim rate cut bets for June’s meeting.

The Mexican Peso (MXN) posts minimal losses against the US Dollar (USD) after robust economic data from the United States might deter the US Federal Reserve (Fed) from cutting rates in the first half of 2024. Bank of Mexico (Banxico) Deputy Governor Omar Mejia opened the door for an interest rate cut in a podcast on Wednesday, emphasizing that it is not premature due to the bank’s high rate level. The USD/MXN trades at 16.69, gaining 0.20%.

Market mood is negative, as reflected by US equities printing losses. The US Commerce Department revealed that Retail Sales in February improved compared to January’s plunge. At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed that inflation on the producer side climbed, sparking a jump in the Greenback.

In other data, the Department of Labor revealed that Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased below the prior week’s reading and missed estimates.

Daily digest market movers: Mexican Peso gives way to US Dollar buyers, unable to reach nine-year high

  • Banxico’s Mejia commented that they have a long way to go on the disinflationary path, though he acknowledged the stickiness of services inflation. He stresses that the balance of risks for inflation is less adverse.
  • Mexican economic data revealed during the week:
    • Industrial production in January rose 0.4% MoM as expected, and it gained from -0.7% in December’s contraction. In the twelve months to January, production increased by 2.9%, above estimates, smashing December’s 0% reading.
  • US Retail Sales in February came in at 0.6% MoM, below estimates of 0.8%, though improved from a -1.1% January contraction.
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) exceeded forecasts of 1.1% and rose by 1.6% YoY in February. Excluding volatile items, the so-called core PPI expanded by 2% YoY, unchanged, though a tick higher than the estimated 1.9%.
  • Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending March 9 rose by 209K, missed estimates of 218K and stood below the previous week's reading of 218K.
  • Thursday’s data added to the release of the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report in the United States, cementing the Federal Reserve’s case for being patient about cutting interest rates. Unless data proves the disinflationary process is sustainably trending toward the 2% goal, they will stick to the “higher for longer” mantra. The next Fed meeting is scheduled for March 19-20 next week.
  • Banxico’s private analyst poll projections for February were updated. They expect inflation at 4.10%, core CPI at 4.06%, and the economy to grow by 2.40%, unchanged from January. Regarding monetary policy, they see Banxico lowering rates to 9.50% and the USD/MXN exchange rate at 18.31, down from 18.50.
  • During Banxico’s quarterly report, policymakers acknowledged the progress on inflation and urged caution against premature interest rate cuts. Governor Victoria Rodriguez Ceja said adjustments would be gradual, while Deputy Governors Galia Borja and Jonathan Heath called for prudence. The latter specifically warned against the risks of an early rate cut.
  • Banxico updated its economic growth projections for 2024 from 3.0% to 2.8% YoY and maintained 1.5% for 2025. The slowdown is blamed on higher interest rates at 11.25%, which sparked a shift from three of Banxico’s five governors, who are eyeing the first rate cut at the March 21 meeting.
  • A Reuters poll showed investors estimate the Fed to be the first central bank to cut rates in June.
  • Meanwhile, 52 of 108 economists expect the Fed to cut rates by 75 basis points in 2024, with 26 saying 100 bps.
  • A Reuters poll sees the Mexican Peso depreciating 7% to 18.24 in 12 months from 16.96 on Monday, according to the median of 20 FX strategists polled between March 1-4. The forecast ranged from 15.50 to 19.00.
  • A Reuters poll shows 15 analysts estimate that inflation will slow down in February, corroborating bets that Banxico could cut rates as soon as the March 21 meeting.
  • The CME FedWatch Tool shows traders decreased their bets for a 25-basis-point rate cut in June, down from 72% at the beginning of the week to 60%.

Technical analysis: Mexican Peso depreciates as USD/MXN edges toward 16.70

The USD/MXN downtrend remains intact, but after refreshing year-to-date lows of 16.64, the exotic pair seems to be oversold. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) was below the 30.00 level but has pierced to the upside, signaling buyers could be gathering momentum. If that’s the case, they must reclaim January’s low of 16.78 so they can challenge the 17.00 figure.

Key resistance levels lie at the 50-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) at 17.04, followed by the confluence of the 200-day SMA and the 100-day SMA at 17.23.

On the other hand, and the path of least resistance, the pair could extend its losses below 2023’s low of 16.62, which could exacerbate a drop toward October 2015’s low of 16.32, followed by the 16.00 psychological level.

USD/MXN Price Action – Daily Chart


Banxico FAQs

The Bank of Mexico, also known as Banxico, is the country’s central bank. Its mission is to preserve the value of Mexico’s currency, the Mexican Peso (MXN), and to set the monetary policy. To this end, its main objective is to maintain low and stable inflation within target levels – at or close to its target of 3%, the midpoint in a tolerance band of between 2% and 4%.

The main tool of the Banxico to guide monetary policy is by setting interest rates. When inflation is above target, the bank will attempt to tame it by raising rates, making it more expensive for households and businesses to borrow money and thus cooling the 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. The rate differential with the USD, or how the Banxico is expected to set interest rates compared with the US Federal Reserve (Fed), is a key factor.

Banxico meets eight times a year, and its monetary policy is greatly influenced by decisions of the US Federal Reserve (Fed). Therefore, the central bank’s decision-making committee usually gathers a week after the Fed. In doing so, Banxico reacts and sometimes anticipates monetary policy measures set by the Federal Reserve. For example, after the Covid-19 pandemic, before the Fed raised rates, Banxico did it first in an attempt to diminish the chances of a substantial depreciation of the Mexican Peso (MXN) and to prevent capital outflows that could destabilize the country.


Disclaimer: For information purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
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