UPDATE 2-Mexico central bank calendar diverges from U.S. Fed in 2016
(Adds table of calendar, background) MEXICO CITY, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Mexico's central bank on Wednesday released its calendar for interest rate announcements in 2016, where its meetings do not as closely follow the U.S. Federal Reserve's calendar as they did in late 2015. The market has been watching for the calendar's release as a possible clue as to whether Mexico's monetary policy would closely follow the moves of the Federal Reserve. Mexico's central bank said in a statement that it reserved the right to change its calendar in case it needs to take into account "extraordinary events." In July, Mexico modified its calendar for decision announcements, moving them to occur shortly after Fed meetings. Mexico's peso has slumped this year to record lows, hurt by bets that higher U.S. interest rates could sap demand for riskier assets, such as emerging market bonds. Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens told Reuters on Monday that Mexico must be ready to "take care" of the battered peso as a U.S. rate hike looms, but that the U.S. Federal Reserve policy would not be the only factor driving Mexico's rate decisions. Twenty of 22 economists in a poll by Banamex on Monday expect the Bank of Mexico to raise its benchmark rate from 3 percent by 25 basis points on Dec. 17, the day after U.S. Federal Reserve's own rate announcement. Mexico Policy Decisions Fed Meetings Jan. 26-27 Feb. 4 March 18 15-16 April 26-27 May 5 June 30 14-15 July 26-27 Aug. 11 Sept. 29 20-21 Oct. Nov. 17 1-2 Dec. 15 13-14 (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; editing by Grant McCool)
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