The Mexican peso’s foreign exchange rate received an early 2012 boost against the US dollar in light currency trading today as several foreign markets were closed for the New Year’s holiday.
The Mexican peso finished stronger against the US dollar, quoted in Mexico City at MXN13.9275, according to Infosel, compared with its MXN13.9725 close Friday.
In economic news, remittances from Mexicans working abroad rose 8.9% in November from the year-earlier month to $1.77 billion, bringing the total for the first 11 months of 2011 to $20.96 billion, up 7.2% from the first 11 months of 2010.
The November increase, though, was smaller than October’s 10.4% rise and the 21.3% increase in September, when people took advantage of a weakening peso to increase the amounts of money they send home. The peso continued to lose ground against the U.S. dollar in November, leading several analysts to predict that the November cash transfers would have been higher.
Among blue chip shares Monday, telecommunications heavyweight America Movil L shares finished up 1.1% to MXN16 and cement company Cemex CPO shares closed 0.7% higher at MXN7.50.
The IPC index fell 3.8% in 2011, although select services and consumer stocks posted double-digit advances. Concerns about U.S. growth and the European debt crisis kept a lid on investor appetite for equities. The stock exchange said equity placements last year totaled MXN41.6 billion, including initial public offerings, secondary offerings, and the listing of infrastructure and real-estate funds.
“The most important theme to watch in the first months of the year is, not very surprisingly, the debt crisis in Europe,” Banco Santander said in a report.
Santander expects domestic demand to remain a significant driver of growth in Mexico during 2012, with employment gains and slow inflation contributing to growth of 4% or more in household spending, while a slowdown in manufacturing exports is expected to limit overall economic expansion. Santander estimates Mexican GDP will grow 3.2% this year, compared with 4.1% for 2011.