THE PESO was mostly flat on Wednesday as the dollar weakened due to continued fears over a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
The local unit closed Wednesday’s session at P53.475 against the dollar, weaker by just half a centavo from the P53.47-per-dollar finish on Tuesday.
The peso opened the session lower at P53.55 versus the US currency, which was also its intraday low. Meanwhile, it rose to P53.42 per dollar intraday.
Dollars traded jumped to $918.7 million from the $748.82 million logged the previous day.
A trader said the peso just traded within a “very tight range” on Wednesday.
“We tried to breach the P53.50 level. However, there were a lot of offers around that level and we don’t know if this is a way by the authorities that they just want to smoothen out the flow,” the trader said in a phone interview.
Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist at UnionBank of the Philippines, said the dollar index slipped “with continuing concerns on trade protectionism.”
Reuters reported that the dollar index edged lower against a basket of currencies, slipping 0.1% at 94.559.
On Monday, French finance minister said Europe will hit back if US President Donald J. Trump will slap a 20% import tariffs on European-made cars.
Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Economics and Industry Research Division Head Michael L. Ricafort said the peso inched lower after global crude oil prices went above $70 per barrel.
“This could increase the country’s imports and widen the trade deficit,” Mr. Ricafort said in a text message.
For Thursday, UnionBank’ Mr. Asuncion sees the peso moving between P53.30 and P53.50 versus the dollar, while the trader gave a P53.35-P53.30 forecast range. — KANV