THE PESO retreated further versus the greenback on Wednesday due to foreign selling at the stock market and cautiousness ahead of the central bank’s policy review.

The local unit closed at P48.805 a dollar on Wednesday, shedding 10.5 centavos from its P48.70 finish on Tuesday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Wednesday’s session at P48.695 per dollar. Its weakest point was at P48.85 while its intraday best was logged at P48.68 against the greenback.

Dollars exchanged inched up to $1.103 billion on Wednesday from $1.067 billion on Tuesday.

The peso weakened due to continued foreign outflows in the stock market, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a text message.

Net foreign selling at the local bourse ballooned to P1.44 billion on Wednesday from the P101.57 million seen on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a trader said risk-off sentiment ahead of the policy meeting of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday also caused the peso to depreciate.

The BSP’s policy-setting Monetary Board is widely expected to keep benchmark interest rates at record lows at its meeting on Thursday.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno last week said their policy stance will be supportive “for as long as necessary, until the economic recovery gets underway.”

For Thursday, Mr. Ricafort and the trader gave a forecast range of P48.70 to P48.90 versus the dollar. — LWTN