By Melissa Luz T. Lopez, Senior Reporter
THE PESO traded sideways versus the dollar on Friday, moving in sync with regional currencies due to a lack of leads.
The local unit closed at P53.51 against the greenback, slightly weaker than its P53.50 finish on Thursday. The peso opened stronger at P53.435 per dollar and even touched P53.40 as its strongest point within the day. It hit an intraday low of P53.53 before settling at the closing rate.
Two traders interviewed by phone said the peso mirrored movements of regional currencies during the session.
“Asian currencies weakened versus the dollar and traded sideways overnight,” one trader said when sought for comment, noting that market players still view a stronger dollar and did not take large positions ahead of the weekend.
Dollars traded on Friday reached $397 million, down from the $595.3 million which exchanged hands the previous day.
“When the dollar moves lower, dollar-Asia including the peso follow suit… There is no driver for it to break out of the recent range,” a second trader pointed out.
The peso also traded flat during Thursday’s session, which traders attributed to upbeat producer price data in the United States coupled with renewed trade tensions involving China.
Reuters reported that the US slapped an additional 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products this week following the import duties on $34 billion worth of goods introduced on July 6.
Beijing has vowed to retaliate with equal fervor, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said before the World Trade Organization.
Back home, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo said the trade war between US and China is seen to have a “negligible” impact on the Philippines as of now, but warned that it could dampen overall trade should the tariff war escalate further and pull down growth prospects in the world’s biggest economies.