The iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWW) fell 0.7% Wednesday, breaking down to new all-time lows as the peso currency weakened to MXN21.9381 against the U.S. dollar. The peso currency was trading as low as 22 per dollar and has depreciated 20% against the greenback since Trump won the elections. EWW has also plummeted 17.2% over the past three months.
The peso depreciated after Trump started his press conference with comments on how he expected more automakers to move operations to the U.S., the Financial Times reports.
“A lot of car companies are moving in,” Trump said. “A lot of news is going to be announced in the coming weeks…big big factories are going to be built in this country as opposed to another country. I hope GM will be following (Ford and FCA)…I think they will be…”
The North American Free Trade Agreement has allowed greater freedom of trade across the U.S. and Mexican borders, which has also help many companies to move operations south of the border to save on manufacturing costs.
“Most of what’s driving the peso today is [still] policy, what you might hear [at] the Trump press conference,” Jason Leinwand, founder and CEO of currency trading advisory firm FirstLine FX, told CNBC. “There’s still a lot of concern in markets about the U.S.-Mexico relationship going forward, a lot of concern about NAFTA.”
The peso also tried to stage a brief rally on speculation that the Mexican central bank would intervene and support the currency. Leinwand, though, expected weakness in the peso should persist despite the Mexican central bank’s intervention efforts and expected interest rate hikes.
Markets now anticipate the President-elect could take a more protectionist stance that would weigh on the Mexican economy.
“You think you are going to move your plant…move it to Mexico,” Trump said. “It’s not going to happen. You are going to pay a very large border tax…There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder.”
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