FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers his second state of the union address at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday he respects the International Monetary Fund’s recommendations to Mexico but that it should “stop covering up for corrupt governments.”

On Tuesday, the IMF said Mexico should implement larger near-term fiscal support to alleviate the economic distress largely brought about by measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The IMF recommended the government expand its welfare net and unemployment benefits, and lower interest rates. It also proposed tax reform to support spending in the medium-term.

Lopez Obrador on Wednesday said he respected the IMF but that international financial entities were no longer dictating economic policy in Mexico.

“All we ask … is that they stop rescuing large corporations and that they rescue the people, that they stop covering up for corrupt governments,” he told his regular morning news conference, without providing details on any such potential cases.

The IMF declined to comment.

Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez and Raul Cortes, writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Steve Orlofsky

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By Susan Mathew

Oct 2 (Reuters)Argentina’s peso dropped on Friday after the central bank said it would allow a managed float of the currency, while most other Latin American units fell as global sentiment took a hit after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Argentine peso ARS=RASL led losses with the bank saying it would abandon its current “uniform daily devaluations and introduce greater volatility” as the gap between the official exchange rate and the rate quoted in informal currency markets widened close to 93%.

The bank said it would offer trades at 76.95 pesos per dollar at Friday’s open, around 0.91% weaker than the close on Thursday. It also increased the important overnight repo rate to 24%, from the current 19%.

“Even if the number of measures announced is not low, we do not expect them to change the current dynamics. The measures are likely to be seen as insufficient and hence run the risk of being counterproductive,” Citigroup Latam FX strategists said a note.

The safe-haven dollar gained traction after Trump and wife, Melania, contracted the disease just four weeks before U.S. elections. FRX/

Brazil’s real BRBY, was flat with data showing industrial output rose, slightly less than expected, continuing a pick-up after shuddering to a standstill during coronavirus-linked lockdowns.

A Reuters poll showed that Latam currencies are set to remain weighed down this quarter by fears about Brazil’s public finances and Mexico’s close link to U.S. politics.

The real was on track for its fourth straight week of losses, down about 1.7%.

Mexico’s peso MXN= continued its recent trend of outperforming regional peers, up 0.7%, all set to post its biggest weekly rise in more than four months.

Currencies of Colombia COP= and Chile CLP= declined 0.7% and

The coronavirus pandemic stopped work for nearly a month at the California farm where Luis earns $80 a day picking tomatoes, but that didn’t stop him from sending $800 to family in Mexico.

The money had traveled far by the time he was back at work in June. It kept his family fed, funded his father’s hernia operation and paid for other medical expenses.

Early in the pandemic, experts predicted that migrant workers in the U.S. like 32-year-old Luis — who didn’t want his last name used for fear of losing his job and being deported — would wire home less money as the virus hammered the American economy. But those predictions didn’t materialize for workers from Mexico, who have sent home huge amounts of money, called remittances.

In August, their payments amounted to $3.57 billion, according to the Bank of Mexico, the second-highest level on record for a single month and 5.3% above August 2019. Payments in the first eight months of 2020 ballooned to $26.4 billion, up 9.4% compared with the same period last year.

The enormous sums of money moving south, most through electronic transfers, have puzzled some economists, who say their original forecasts underestimated the strength of “human networks” between Mexican migrants in the U.S. and their families back home. They also say the rise has been driven by a weakened Mexican peso and the $600-a-week U.S. unemployment benefit that expired at the end of July. Despite that, the surge continued in August.

“We are honestly very surprised at their resilience,” Jonathan Fortun, an economist at the Institute of International Finance in Washington, said about the payments.

Money coming from families in the U.S. has long been a lifeline in Mexico. The payments are critical to low-income families for expenses like food and clothing. They also

PHOENIX (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic stopped work for nearly a month at the California farm where Luis earns $80 a day picking tomatoes, but that didn’t stop him from sending $800 to family in Mexico.

The money had traveled far by the time he was back at work in June. It kept his family fed, funded his father’s hernia operation and paid for other medical expenses.

Early in the pandemic, experts predicted that migrant workers in the U.S. like 32-year-old Luis — who didn’t want his last name used for fear of losing his job and being deported — would wire home less money as the virus hammered the American economy. But those predictions didn’t materialize for workers from Mexico, who have sent home huge amounts of money, called remittances.

In August, their payments amounted to $3.57 billion, according to the Bank of Mexico, the second-highest level on record for a single month and 5.3% above August 2019. Payments in the first eight months of 2020 ballooned to $26.4 billion, up 9.4% compared with the same period last year.

The enormous sums of money moving south, most through electronic transfers, have puzzled some economists, who say their original forecasts underestimated the strength of “human networks” between Mexican migrants in the U.S. and their families back home. They also say the rise has been driven by a weakened Mexican peso and the $600-a-week U.S. unemployment benefit that expired at the end of July. Despite that, the surge continued in August.

“We are honestly very surprised at their resilience,” Jonathan Fortun, an economist at the Institute of International Finance in Washington, said about the payments.

Money coming from families in the U.S. has long been a lifeline in Mexico. The payments are critical to low-income families for expenses like food and

By Sagarika Jaisinghani

Sept 29 (Reuters)The Brazilian real and the Mexican peso outperformed Latin American currencies on Tuesday following a slump in the past two sessions, while regional equities tracked a slide on Wall Street ahead of the U.S. presidential debate later in the day.

The real BRBY was up 0.2% by 1524 GMT, with the dollar slipping from recent two-month highs as investors held off on making big bets ahead of the first debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. FRX/

Brazil’s real has fallen to record lows this year due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, although a string of recent data has raised hopes that Latin America’s largest economy could return to growth next year.

Investor sentiment has also been subdued by concerns around the government’s plans to fund a new minimum income program called Renda Cidada, which translates as “Citizen Income”.

“The market is still digesting the news of the Citizen Income financing and will be waiting for some explanation from the government” on how to reconcile this spending with an already tight budget, said Victor Beyruti, economist at Guide Investimentos.

The Mexican peso MXN= gained 0.3%, snapping a two-day losing streak, while the country’s stock index .MXX fell half a percent with financials and consumer staples stocks leading declines.

Samuel Bentley, a client portfolio manager at fund house Eastspring Investments, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum that broad weakness in emerging stocks had created value opportunities and that his fund was considering increasing exposure to Mexico, among other countries.

The Chilean peso CLP= eased 0.2% and was on course for its second straight monthly decline, while the Peruvian sol PEN= and Colombian peso COP= shed about 0.1% each.

A basket of Latin American equities .MILA00000PUS tumbled