(Updates prices) SAO PAULO, March 3 (Reuters) - The Mexican peso on Friday firmed to the strongest level since the November U.S. elections after the U.S. commerce secretary said a sensible trade deal with Mexico could help the battered currency.
The peso strengthened more than 2.5 percent to 19.50 per dollar.
The peso closed 2016 with its worst yearly performance since 2008 after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to pull the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Speaking on CNBC, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said those NAFTA fears pummeled the peso, which reached an all-time low on Jan. 11, and that a sensible trade deal would boost it.
Trump has also said he would slap a hefty tax on imports to the United States from Mexico to pay for a border wall.
Other Latin American currencies closed up after seesawing earlier as traders avoided making big bets ahead of a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Expectations of a U.S. rate increase in March, which could reduce the allure of high-yielding assets, have weighed on demand for emerging market currencies this week.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2200 GMT: Stock indexes Latest daily % YTD % change change MSCI Emerging Markets 931.07 -0.57 7.98 MSCI LatAm 2606.86 0.94 11.37 Brazil Bovespa 66785.53 1.41 10.89 Mexico IPC 47414.57 0.27 3.88 Chile IPSA 4429.79 0.22 6.71 Chile IGPA 22195.82 0.36 7.05 Argentina MerVal 19265.45 1.57 13.88 Colombia IGBC 9907.48 0.37 -2.18 Venezuela IBC 37598.43 2.14 18.59 Currencies Latest daily % YTD % change change Brazil real 3.1130 1.20 4.33 Mexico peso 19.5000 2.53 6.38 Chile peso 657.8 -0.50 1.96 Colombia peso 2969.83 0.06 1.07 Peru sol 3.279 0.09 4.12 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Leslie Adler)