Peso slips on political concerns

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THE PESO slipped due to political concerns abroad.

THE PESO weakened slightly on Thursday amid ongoing protests in Hong Kong and bets on the United Kingdom’s next prime minister.

The local currency closed at P51.865 on Thursday, slightly lower than Tuesday’s P51.85-per-dollar finish.

The peso opened the session stronger at P51.95 against the dollar. It logged an intraday peak of P51.83, while its lowest point for the day was at P51.98 versus the greenback.

Trading volume increased to $919.84 million from the $867.45 million that switched hands in the previous session.

“The peso slightly depreciated as heightening trade and geopolitical uncertainties abroad, particularly the Hong Kong protests and increasing speculations over the new British Prime Minister, propelled broad safe-haven demand toward the greenback,” a trader said.

Scuffles broke out between protesters and police in Hong Kong on Thursday as hundreds of people remained on the streets to protest a planned extradition law with mainland China, a day after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators.

The legislature remained closed, with the council issuing a notice that the meeting to discuss the bill would not be held on Thursday.

Authorities have shut government offices in the financial district for the rest of the week after some of the worst violence in Hong Kong since Britain handed it back to Chinese rule in 1997.

Meanwhile, the contest to replace British Prime Minister Theresa May was due to narrow on Thursday when Conservative Party lawmakers vote to knock out at least one of 10 candidates in the first ballot, though Boris Johnson is far ahead of rivals.

For today, the trader said the peso might weaken ahead of a likely upbeat US retail sales report.

The trader said the peso could trade between P51.70 and P52 against the dollar. — KESF