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Peso inches higher as Duterte allays budget delay concerns

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THE PESO inched up on Friday after President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered lawmakers to pass the 2021 national budget on time.

The local unit closed at P48.305 versus the dollar on Friday, rising by five centavos from its P48.355 finish on Thursday.

The peso opened Friday’s session at P48.38 against the greenback, which was also its weakest showing for the day. It logged an intraday high of P48.28 per dollar.

Dollars traded rose to $562.37 million on Friday from $519.35 million on the previous day.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a text message that the peso was stronger after Mr. Duterte asked the House of Representatives to pass the 2021 national budget soon.

A trader said in an email that the peso climbed as sentiment improved due to Mr. Duterte’s assurance that he will prevent any delay in the 2021 national budget.

Mr. Duterte said in a speech on Thursday that he might step in to keep the approval of the budget on track if the House fails to resolve its speakership row.

The House approved on second reading the proposed 2021 budget worth P4.5 trillion on Tuesday but suspended its session earlier than planned. The House will resume its session on Nov. 16 to approve the budget proposal on third and final reading.

For Monday, Mr. Ricafort expects the peso to move from P48.25 to P48.35 per dolalr, while the trader sees it ranging from P48.20 to P48.50. — KKTJ

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