Mexico won't pay for Trump wall, no peso action

SPH Brightcove Video
Mexico's Finance Minister Jose Meade and central bank head Agustin Carstens have looked to calm markets after Republican Donald Trump's surprise victory sparked a massive selloff tanking the peso up to 13 per cent in after-hours trading.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - It may have been a global shock but it was Mexico's peso which took the full force of the blow from Donald Trump's election win.

It tumbled 13 per cent against the dollar before expectations of intervention helped it recover by around a third. But it wasn't to be.

"These price movements have happened in a wide spectrum of currencies, assets and countries starting in the US itself. The election result does not mean an immediate impact on trade agreements, finance flows, or the movement of people between the two countries," said Mexican Finance Minister Jose Meade.

Mr Trump threatened to rip up a free trade agreement with Mexico and use tax money sent home by migrants to pay for building a wall along the southern US border.

As a result the peso's been battered by the election campaign.

"I don't think that a wall will ever be built. It's not practical, it sends out the wrong message to the rest of the world but what I think Donald Trump might do is be much, much tougher on immigration. I think we are seeing this around the world now," said Panmure Gordon market commentator David Bulk.

Mexican stocks fell three per cent at the open, but the central bank pointed to inflation at three per cent and within the desired range.

"We have international reserves of US$175 billion (S$245 billion) which is enough to cover peso debt held in Mexico by foreign investors. We also have a flexible credit line with the IMF of 86.2 billion pesos," said Mr Meade.

Interest rates have also been raised three times already this year.

Mexico may be keen to save its ammunition for something more than a threat.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.