THE PESO retreated versus the greenback on Wednesday amid cautious sentiment due to stock market losses.

The local unit ended trading at P50.19 per dollar on Wednesday, weaker by 24 centavos from its P49.95 finish on Tuesday, based on data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines.

The peso opened Wednesday’s session strongest at P49.93. Its weakest showing was its close of P50.19, while its intraday best was at P49.90. Dollars exchanged increased to $1.063 billion on Wednesday from $916 million on Tuesday.

The peso weakened versus the greenback following the third straight day of losses in the local stock market, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 47.87 points or 0.66% to close at 7,119.19 on Wednesday.

The broader All Shares index also dropped by 0.22% or 8.45 points to end trading at 3,797.22.

Meanwhile, a trader said the peso also depreciated due to concerns on higher oil prices.

Reuters reported that oil prices increased by more than 3% on Tuesday due to worries on the impact of the Omicron variant to holiday travel plans. Brent crude rose by $2.46 or 3.4% to $73.98 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude increased $2.51 or 3.7% to $71.12 per barrel.

For Thursday, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P50.10 to P50.30, while the trader expects the local unit to move within P50.05 to P50.20. — Luz Wendy T. Noble with Reuters