Peso down on trade deal issues

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THE PESO declined on uncertainties over a US-China trade deal.

THE PESO weakened to the P51-per-dollar level anew on Wednesday following US President Donald J. Trump’s statement on Tuesday that he has “no deadline” for a phase one deal with China amid their ongoing trade war.

The local unit closed at P51.02 against the greenback on Wednesday, depreciating by 6.90 centavos from the P50.951-per-dollar close on Tuesday.

The peso opened at P51.10 against the dollar. Its weakest point was at P51.15, while its intraday best was at P50.975 versus the greenback.

Dollars traded slipped to $1.428 billion from the $1.499 billion seen on Tuesday.

Analysts said the local unit’s weakening came after Mr. Trump’s remarks that seemed to signal a non-urgency of a trade deal.

“The slight weakening may have come from the recent [development of Mr. Donald J.] Trump downplay of the urgency of a trade deal with China. Market is recognizing uncertainty with Trump’s “I have no deadline” on China trade deal statement,” Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist at UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc., said in a text message.

Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort noted that the peso’s close on Wednesday was “among the weakest in more than a month.”

“[This was] after US President Trump signalled no urgency for any partial trade deal with China and could even wait for the 2020 US presidential elections, contrary to market expectations about a possible phase one trade deal as early as December 2019,” he said via text.

Reuters reported on Dec. 3 that Mr. Trump had said a trade deal with the world’s second-biggest economy may have to wait until after the presidential elections in the US by November 2020.

For today, Mr. Asuncion gave a forecast of P50.90-51.20 while RCBC’s Mr. Ricafort sees the peso trading within P50.85-51.15. — LWTN with Reuters





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