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Peso strengthens ahead of first round of US tariffs

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peso dollar bills
BW FILE PHOTO

THE PESO ended stronger on Friday ahead of the first tranche of the planned tariffs by the United States on some Chinese-made goods on Sept. 1.

The local unit closed at P52.05 against the dollar on Friday, 13 centavos higher than the P52.18-to-a-dollar finish on Thursday.

The peso opened the session at P52.17 against the dollar. Its highest point for the day was logged at P52.04, while its lowest showing was at P52.18 versus the greenback.

Dollars that changed hands on Friday amounted to $989.53 million, lower compared to Thursday’s $1.148 billion.

“The peso strengthened [on Friday] on easing trade tensions after the US said that it would proceed with the scheduled September trade talks and China pledged not to impose any interim retaliatory tariffs,” a trader said in an e-mail on Friday.

The local unit went up as “there’s a bit improvement in the rhetoric between the US and China. We’re mirroring this move,” another trader said in a phone interview.

The US and China signalled the resumption of trade talks as the two countries discussed the next round of negotiations next month.

This, as the US will start collecting 15% tariffs starting this Sunday on more than $125-billion worth of Chinese-made goods.

Another 15% levy will be imposed on some $250-billion Chinese imports starting Dec. 15.

Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng was reported by Reuters as saying: “The most important thing at the moment is to create necessary conditions for both sides to continue negotiations,” he said during a weekly briefing, adding that China was lodging “solemn representation” with the United States.

A separate Reuters report on Friday said trade negotiating teams from Chinese and US sides are maintaining “effective communication,” according to China’s Foreign Ministry. — Mark T. Amoguis





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