THE peso declined against the dollar on Friday with market participants awaiting jobs data from the US as well as a slew of Philippine economic data next week.
The peso ended Friday’s session at P53.15 against the dollar, compared with the P53.09 finish on Thursday.
The peso opened the session weaker at P53.15, slipping to as low as P53.195 intraday. It best showing for the day was P53.085.
Dollar trading volume fell to $595.15 million from $849.2 million that changed hands the previous day.
Traders on Friday said the peso weakened ahead of the non-farm payroll data in the US.
“The peso weakened ahead of the release of the US non-farm payrolls data which reflect the condition of the US labor market,” a trader said in an e-mail Friday.
Another trader said that the US is expected to yield “good” numbers.
“That’s one of the reasons why the dollar-peso moved weaker towards the close,” he added, although adding that it is still uncertain whether the data will cause market sentiment on the dollar to strengthen.
UnionBank chief economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion said that investors are “just waiting for next week’s flurry of relevant economic data.” He added that he is expecting the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to hike its benchmark rates by 50 basis points.
The central bank has been signaling an interest rate hike during its monetary policy meeting on Thursday to quell inflation expectations.
Last week, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla said the monetary authority is “ready to follow through” on the two rate hikes it implemented in May and June to secure its inflation targets.
“We consolidated [on Friday] after a few days of peso strength,” the second trader said. “Given the [possible rate hike], we’re seeing some of the players trying to reduce their long dollar-peso positions ahead of the meeting.”
Aside from the central bank’s policy decision on Thursday, market players are also waiting for the July inflation print on Tuesday as well as the gross domestic product growth rate on Thursday. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal