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Peso edges up ahead of Fed, BSP

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THE PESO traded sideways versus the dollar yesterday, with the mild strength reflecting profit taking as investors await the results of rate-setting meetings by the United States and Philippine central banks.

The peso closed at P52.81 against the greenback, two centavos stronger versus Tuesday’s finish of P52.83.

The local unit opened weaker at P52.90 and even hit an intraday low of P52.95 to a dollar. It touched a peak of P52.80 versus the greenback before settling at the closing rate.

Two traders interviewed by phone said Wednesday’s trading largely reflected the wait-and-see stance taken by market players ahead of two market-moving policy decisions.

“The peso went sideways with the Monetary Board and Fed meetings [today]. The market is waiting for that,” one currency trader said.

The US Federal Reserve will announce their rate decision early Thursday (Manila time). Back home, the seven-member Monetary Board will hold their second rate-setting meeting for this year, which will be the first to be led by new Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.




The second trader noted that while the currency traded higher in the morning, it was then sold later in the session as industry players did not make big bets ahead of the crucial interest rate decisions.

“The market is just taking profit — there’s no position taking.”

Dollars traded yesterday amounted to $870.8 million, down from the $1.141 billion that exchanged hands on Tuesday.

For today, the first trader sees the peso trading within P50.70 to P50.90, while the other trader gave a wider range of P52.75 to P53. The second trader noted that the peso will likely grow “very strong” by Friday should the BSP leave rates unchanged. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez