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Mexico's president asks central bank head Carstens to stay through November: sources
February 20, 2017 / 8:23 PM / in 8 months

Mexico's president asks central bank head Carstens to stay through November: sources

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s central bank chief, Agustin Carstens, will remain in office until the end of November, a spokesman for the president said on Monday, amid uncertainty about the impact of U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies on Latin America’s No. 2 economy.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto asked Carstens to stay until Nov. 30, according to the spokesman at the president’s office, who asked not to be identified. Carstens was set to step down at the end of June to take the top post at the Bank for International Settlements in October.

A source at the central bank said Carstens had accepted, adding that the widely respected governor had offered to stay longer.

Mexico’s peso sank to a record low following the November election of Trump, who has threatened to slap tariffs on Mexican-made goods and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement among the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The currency also took a hit when Carstens, who has headed the central bank since 2010, announced on Dec. 1 he would leave his post more than four years before the end of his second six-year term, sparking criticism he was leaving at a bad time for Mexico.

The peso did not move on news of Carstens extending his stay at the Banco de Mexico, although U.S. markets were closed for the Presidents Day holiday. The peso was trading about 0.25 percent stronger on Monday.

The weak peso has fanned inflation. Mexico’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate to a nearly 8-year high earlier this month after a steep hike in gasoline prices pushed annual inflation to its highest level in more than four years.

Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Peter Cooney

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