THE PESO moved sideways on Friday as the market was on wait-and-see mode a week before the anticipated signing of the phase one deal between the world’s two biggest economies.
The local unit finished trading at P50.66 a dollar on Friday, shedding less than a centavo from its P50.651 trading close on Thursday, according to data from the website of the Bankers’ Association of the Philippines.
The peso opened at P50.67 against the dollar. Its weakest point for the day was at P50.76, while its best showing against the greenback was at P50.63.
Dollars traded went down to $1.152 billion from $1.582 billion on Thursday.
An analyst said the slight depreciation in the peso may have been due to news on the findings about the aircraft crash in Tehran.
“The peso weakened anew as market worries rekindled after the Boeing aircraft from Tehran heading to Ukraine was reportedly struck by Iranian military operations this week,” the analyst said in an email.
Reuters reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited their country’s intelligence findings that point out that the Ukranian airliner crash which killed 176 aboard in Tehran was likely brought down by an Iranian missile.
“We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile,” Mr. Trudeau said.
The US National Transportation Safety Board is set to take part in the investigation of the plane crash.
Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the sideways trading may be an indication of the market waiting on the sidelines for the phase one trade deal between Washington and Beijing.
“The financial markets are now anticipating the scheduled signing of the phase one deal amid continued easing of US-Iran tensions,” he said in a text message.
On Thursday, US President Donald J. Trump said in an interview with the ABC TV affiliate in Ohio that the deal with China will be signed on Jan. 15.
“We’re going to be signing on January 15th — I think it will be January 15th, but shortly thereafter, but I think January 15th — a big deal with China,” Mr. Trump said, as reported by Reuters.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who leads Beijng’s negotiation team in trade talks, will sign the deal in Washington next week. — L.W.T. Noble