Peso climbs slightly on Trump comments, inflation data bets

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THE PESO went up a tad against the dollar on Monday amid safe-haven trading due to remarks from US President Donald J. Trump.

The local currency closed Monday’s session at P53.46 versus the greenback, 1.5 centavos stronger than its P53.475-per-dollar finish on Friday.

The peso opened the session weaker at P53.53 versus the dollar, slipping to as low of P53.535 intraday. Its best showing for the day stood at its closing rate of P53.46 against the greenback.

Trading volume grew to $485.8 million from the $383.85 million that switched hands the previous session.

A foreign exchange trader said the peso “traded fairly quiet” versus the dollar on Monday as there was not much movement due to “the lack of leads.”

Another trader said the pair continued to trade within a very tight range.

“Overnight, we still saw a risk-off tone as the dollar strengthened as most currencies are on safe-haven mode,” the trader said in a phone interview.

“At the start, the demand for the dollar against the peso grew a bit, but the selling interest was still at P53.55.”

Come afternoon, the trader said the dollar “was pushed back a bit,” closing the session slightly weaker than the peso.

“The recent statements from Trump regarding Europe and Canada were factored in by the market [on Monday].”

Mr. Trump said in a Bloomberg interview that he declined the European Union’s offer to eliminate tariffs on cars if it did the same, saying it was “not good enough” as “consumer habits are to buy their cars, not to buy our cars.”

On the other hand, Mr. Trump threatened Canada anew after the two countries failed to reach a deal before the self-imposed Friday deadline, saying there is no “political necessity” to keep Ottawa in the new North American Free Trade Deal.

A third trader, meanwhile, said the peso closed stronger “amid expectations of stronger Philippine inflation data for August” which might increase chances of another rate hike by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Inflation likely accelerated to a fresh multi-year high in August due to higher food costs, according to a BusinessWorld poll that yielded a median estimate of 5.9%.

For Tuesday, two traders expect the peso to move between P53.30 and P53.55 versus the dollar, while the other gave a P53.40-P53.55 range. — K.A.N. Vidal