(Recasts with central bank confirmation)
MEXICO CITY Feb 20 Mexico's central bank
intervened in the foreign exchange market on Friday, offering
dollars directly to dealers after the peso hit a record low
against the dollar.
Mexico's central bank said in a statement the sales were
aimed at improving liquidity in the market. The peso hit a
record low earlier in the day.
The bank did not say how many dollars it had sold in the
operations, which traders reported hours before the bank's
The peso rallied as the bank offered dollars after it
finished its regular dollar auctions at 1 p.m. (1900 GMT).
The peso had fallen more than 2 percent and traded as low
as 14.9983 per dollar MEX01 on Friday, prompting the central
bank to sell the maximum $400 million in two auctions under its
daily dollar auction policy.
The currency rose following the interventions, but was
still down 1.22 percent at 14.80 per dollar.
The bank began intervening on Feb. 4, selling dollars
directly to banks in its first such direct sale in a decade.
Finance Minister Agustin Carstens said on Feb. 6 that the
bank would continue to intervene when necessary to contain the
volatility of the peso.
(Reporting by Michael O'Boyle, Liz Salazar, Lorena Segura,
Jason Lange and Robert Campbell; Editing by Leslie Adler)