November 14, 2018 / 5:09 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Mexican central bank deputy governor resigns due to health issues

(Updates with details, context)

MEXICO CITY, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Mexican central bank deputy governor Roberto del Cueto has handed in his resignation on health grounds, the bank said, giving President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador more scope to influence the shape of the Bank of Mexico’s board.

Del Cueto, 68, was unable to continue the job due to his health issues, the central bank said in a statement. His term was set to run through the end of 2022, but he will now step down on Nov. 30, a day before Lopez Obrador, a leftist, takes office.

The peso currency briefly erased its gains against the dollar on Wednesday following news of del Cueto’s resignation. It later recovered and was trading up 0.6 percent by mid-morning.

The central bank is scheduled to announce its next monetary policy decision on Thursday.

A Reuters poll of economists forecast the bank would hike interest rates by 25 basis points to 8.00 percent to help arrest a decline in the peso, which has been pressured by market jitters about Lopez Obrador’s policies.

Del Cueto can still participate in that decision.

Lopez Obrador, who can serve one six-year term, has already nominated economist Jonathan Heath to replace one departing member of the central bank’s five-member board.

Heath, who must still be approved by Mexico’s Senate, has shown an independent streak since being nominated, criticizing the incoming government’s policies late last month.

Joining the board in 2007, del Cueto first began work at the central bank in 1973, according to the Bank of Mexico. (Reporting by Adriana Barrera Editing by Dave Graham and Paul Simao)

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