Concern about a new variant discovered in South Africa infected the exchange rate in the foreign exchange market with uncertainty. In electronic operations, the Mexican currency reached a maximum price of 21.8152 pesos per dollar.
The Mexican currency depreciated 1.76 percent compared to the interbank close on Wednesday, bringing the exchange rate to a high of 21.8152 pesos per dollar, its highest level since October 1, 2020, according to data from Bloomberg and the Banco de Mexico (Banxico).
“(The) exchange rate continues to rise, reaching new highs in the year, due to fear of the new variant of COVID-19,” said Gabriela Siller, director of economic analysis at Banco Base.
At the same time, South Africa’s rand weakened to more than R16 per dollar for the first time in a year amid growing concern over a variant of the coronavirus.
“The South African rand had already been under pressure for a stronger US dollar in recent weeks, but the news of a new variant of COVID has exacerbated pressure on the currency,” he said. Mitul Kotecha, Chief Emerging Markets Strategist for Asia and Europe at TD Securities.
Asia opens lower
Financial markets in Asia opened their operation on Friday (local) with significant falls for fear of the new variant that has arrived in Hong Kong from South Africa.
The Nikkei of Japan registered a fall of 2.44 percent, while the Hang Seng Index, the main Chinese stock index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange decreased 1.78 percent.
“Hong Kong has confirmed two cases of the new COVID variant first discovered in South Africa and Botswana after genome sequencing analysis performed by the University of Hong Kong. One of the cases was a traveler who came to Hong Kong from South Africa. The other person was quarantined in the hotel room across the street and could have been infected by the flow of air between the rooms, “said Bloomberg.