The Mexican peso closed 1.5% higher against the U.S. dollar on Friday. Despite increasingly hostile rhetoric between Mexican and U.S. authorities over illegal immigration and the highly controversial border wall, the peso had one of its best days against the greenback since the start of the year.
Today’s appreciation in the peso was mainly a result of a press conference held in Mexico City by Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim, who said the Mexican government needs to be strong in the upcoming negotiations with the Trump administration.
Slim, a Mexican business magnate who is well known for being the richest person in the world between 2010 and 2013, called Trump a “great negotiator,” adding that he had a great amount of negotiating leverage due to the size of the American economy.
However, the Mexican businessman also mentioned that Mexico needs to focus on developing its domestic economy and that any excessive tariffs imposed by the Trump administration would be borne by U.S. consumers.
While the U.S. president has criticized Carlos Slim during his campaign for making donations to the Clinton Foundation, Trump met with Carlos Slim at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, last year. Trump said in one of his tweets:
"Yes, it is true - Carlos Slim, the great businessman from Mexico, called me about getting together for a meeting. We met, HE IS A GREAT GUY!"The Mexican peso finished the off the week with a 3% gain against the dollar.