THE PESO moved sideways versus the greenback on Thursday, with market participants awaiting the release of latest budget balance data.
The local unit closed at P50.81 per dollar on Thursday, shedding two centavos from its P50.79 finish on Wednesday, based on data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines.
The peso opened Thursday’s session weaker at P50.80 versus the dollar. Its weakest showing was at P50.865, while its intraday best was at P50.77 against the greenback.
Dollars exchanged went down to $704.19 million on Thursday from $781.67 million on Wednesday.
The peso depreciated slightly on Thursday as market participants were waiting for leads from the budget balance data, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.
The Bureau of the Treasury is scheduled to release its September cash operations report on Friday.
The government’s budget deficit tripled to P120.9 billion in August from a year earlier amid higher public spending due to subsidies, which outpaced the rise in revenues.
With this, the fiscal gap increased 20.4% to P958.2 billion in the first eight months from the same period in 2020.
Meanwhile, a trader said the peso ended a tad weaker after a US Federal Reserve official said it is time for the central bank to start reducing its asset purchases.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that Fed Governor Randal Quarles said the time has come for the Fed to taper its asset purchases, although he believes raising interest rates due to high inflation would be “premature.”
“It is clear that we have met the test of substantial further progress toward both our employment and our inflation mandates, and I would support a decision at our November meeting to start reducing these purchases and complete that process by the middle of next year,” Mr. Quarles said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Milken Institute.
In terms of raising interest rates, Mr. Quarles said the Fed can remain patient with policy to allow the labor market more time to recover, he said.
For Friday, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P50.72 to P50.90, while the trader expects the local unit to move within P50.75 to P50.95 per dollar. — LWTN with Reuters