- Mexican Peso advances against the US Dollar, USD/MXN threatens 17.00 support area.
- Mexico’s economic docket ahead includes Retail Sales on Wednesday, followed by Thursday’s inflation data.
- US housing data was solid but failed to move the needle in favor of the US Dollar, which remains on the defensive.
The Mexican Peso (MXN) continues to strengthen against the US Dollar (USD) during the North American session on Tuesday, as the Greenback (USD) remains pressured despite US Federal Reserve (Fed) officials pushing back against aggressive bets suggesting the central bank would lower rates by more than 100 basis points next year. Therefore, the USD/MXN trades at 17.05, down 0.62% on the day, after reaching a new three-month low at around 17.02.
Mexico’s economic calendar remains scarce on Tuesday but will gather attention on Wednesday with the release of Mexican Retail Sales for October. On Thursday, the calendar will feature mid-month headline and underlying inflation data for December. Across the border, the solid housing data from the United States (US) did little to nothing to help the Greenback, which, according to the US Dollar Index (DXY), has dropped to a new two-day low of 102.10.
Daily digest market movers: Mexican Peso extends gains despite Banxico’s dovish comments
- US Housing Starts rose by 14.8% in November, smashing October’s 0.2% expansion, while Building Permits as a whole contracted at a 2.5% rate, trailing October’s 1.8% growth. Although the data was solid, it was ignored by market participants.
- Recent comments from the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) Governor Victoria Rodriguez Ceja suggest the central bank would be cautious in setting monetary policy next year. She said they would remain data-dependent, and if the disinflation process continues, they could lower rates in the first quarter of 2024.
- Banxico’s Governor noted that despite reviewing their inflation projections for 2024, the central bank kept its forecast of inflation returning to its 3% target in 2025.
- Lastly, Victoria Rodriguez Ceja added the Governing Council considers several factors when determining its policy, including the exchange rate, though they’re not focused on a specific level.
- In Banxico’s last meeting, the central bank unanimously voted to hold rates at 11.25% and revised its inflation forecast for some quarters of 2024 and 2025.
- Even though US business activity gathered traction in December, as revealed by S&P Global PMIs, the markets would face a reality check on December 21, with the release of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter expected to remain at 5.2% QoQ, above Q2’s 2.1%.
- Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said that inflation remains the main focus for the Fed, acknowledging there’s progress on curbing elevated prices. He said the Fed’s forecasts are now guidance, just projections, and added that the Fed could re-focus on its dual mandate
- According to the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP), Fed officials expect to lower the federal funds rates (FFR) to 4.60% in 2024, though they remain data-dependent.
- As of today, money market futures estimate the Fed will slash rates by 134 basis points toward the end of next year, three basis points lower than December’s 18 and twice the Fed’s forecasts of three 25 bps cuts for 2024, according to the SEP.
Technical analysis: Mexican Peso threatens critical technical area
The USD/MXN is trading sideways though tilted to the downside, as the 100, 200, and 50-day Simple Moving Averages (SMAs) begin to converge toward the 17.41/58 area, almost shifting flat. The downtrend is gathering pace, accelerating toward the bottom of the 17.00-17.60 range. A daily close below 17.00 would exacerbate a leg-down toward the year-to-date (YTD) low of 16.62, ahead of the end of the year.
Otherwise, if bulls regain the 100-day SMA at 17.41, the USD/MXN could edge toward the 200-day SMA at 17.51 in route to the 50-day SMA at 17.56. Once those levels are surpassed, further upside lies at the psychological 18.00 figure.
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.