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Peso declines as daily virus tally climbs

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THE PESO weakened against the greenback on Monday as investors were cautious following the pickup in local coronavirus infections and the drop in foreign direct investments (FDI).

The local unit closed at P48.10 per dollar yesterday, shedding 1.2 centavos from its P48.088 finish on Friday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Monday’s session at P48.10 versus the greenback, which was also its closing level. Its weakest showing was at P48.115 while its intraday best was at P48.065 per dollar.

Dollars traded slumped to $451.2 million on Monday from $727.37 million on Friday.

The peso depreciated versus the dollar as coronavirus infections continue to pick up, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.

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Coronavirus infections in the country rose by 2,052 on Monday, the highest in more than three weeks. This brought the total count to 489,736, while active cases reached 22,114.

The decline in FDI inflows also affected the peso, Mr. Ricafort said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday said FDI inflows in October dropped 24.5% year on year to $423 million. The 10-month tally also slumped by 10.2% to $5.255 billion from $5.85 billion in the same period in 2019.

For today, Mr. Ricafort expects the peso to trade at P48.06 to P48.12 per dollar. — LWTN

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