Peso Hits Six-Month Peak After COVID-19 Vaccine Trial ResumesBy Peter Appleby | Mon, 09/14/2020 - 13:33
The peso has been propelled to its highest level in six months by optimism and positive news surrounding COVID-19 vaccines.
The peso stood at MX$21.1670 per US dollar, Reuters reported on Monday morning, following the announcement by British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca that its COVID-19 trials, which had enforced a “voluntary pause” on Sunday, Sept. 6, after a trial participant had become unwell, would recommence.
Following a review of the patient and the potential health risks associated with the vaccine, the study was resumed on Sept. 12, with the company reporting that “clinical trials for the AstraZeneca Oxford coronavirus vaccine, AZD1222, have resumed in the UK following confirmation by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to do so.”
American pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which is partnering with Germany pharma company BioNTech, also announced that it intends to expand its trial to up to 44,000 participants. “Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) announced today that they have submitted an amended protocol to the US Food and Drug Administration to expand the enrollment of their Phase 3 pivotal COVID-19 vaccine trial to up to approximately 44,000 participants, which also allows for the enrollment of new populations,” said the company’s press release.
The peso’s level is the highest since March, when currencies began to tumble in value as COVID-19 rapidly spread across the globe.
Mexican national oil company PEMEX is the company with the most COVID-19-related deaths in the world, with 314 workers and seven contractors, while the deaths of “at least” 1,320 health workers means Mexico’s deathtoll is the highest known for any country, according to Amnesty International.
Positive news are also helping to settle the peso’s value following a bumpy few months. According to Pantheon Macroeconomics, an economic research consultancy, the country’s industrial output is rebounding. “Economic news last week in Mexico was net positive, as industrial production rose by a solid 6.9 percent month-to-month, following a 17.9 percent rebound in June,” the company reported.
Pantheon said that last week’s federal budget frugal proposal was “fiscally responsible” but that, by their measures, “most of the macroeconomic estimates on which the government has based its plans look slightly optimistic. Tax collection will likely fall short of the government’s aims but oil revenue should make up the fiscal difference in the year ahead,” the firm reported.