The Mexican peso hit a one-month high of 20.6601 per dollar on Wednesday morning before trimming some of its gains. The currency trades up 0.4% at 20.7520 per dollar as of 8:22 a.m ET.
Mexico’s currency has had a wild start to 2017 as President Donald Trump has railed against Mexico during his first week in office.
It fell about 6% over the first three weeks of the year as traders priced in what a Trump presidency could mean for the currency as he railed against Mexico throughout his campaign.
But then the fireworks began as Trump took office and the peso’s fortunes began to turn around:
- Last Thursday Trump tweeted, “The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”
- Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto pushed back, stating that Mexico would not pay for the border wall that Trump has promised to build and responded with his own tweet, “This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the @POTUS.”
- The Trump team responded by suggesting a 20% border tax could be placed on all US imports coming from Mexico, and later said that tax could be placed on all imports.
- On Friday, Trump continued his assault on the US’ neighbour to the south, tweeting, “Mexico has taken advantage of the U.S. for long enough. Massive trade deficits & little help on the very weak border must change, NOW!”
- But cooler heads prevailed and Peña Nieto and Trump held an hour-long phone call to try and work out their differences. While the outcome of the call was not made public, it’s a sign that the two sides are trying to work things out.
Interestingly, the peso has actually strengthened by about 6% since Trump was inaugurated on January 20th, and has wiped away all of its losses for the year. However, the currency is still down about 13% since Trump won the election.