Peso weakens ahead of US jobs data

Font Size

THE PESO declined against the dollar on Friday as the currency continued to trade sideways ahead of the release of jobs data in the United States.

The local unit closed the week at P51.195 versus the greenback, down 6.5 centavos from its P51.13-per-dollar finish on Thursday.

The peso opened the session at P51.20 per dollar. It surged to as high as P51.10 intraday, while its worst showing stood at P51.21 against the US currency.

Trading volume thinned slightly to $770.24 million from the $775.7 million that changed hands the previous day.

A trader said in a phone interview that the peso moved sideways against the dollar as market players were still on a wait-and-see mode ahead of the US non-farm payrolls data scheduled for release Friday night.

“The dollar-peso traded sideways today still as market remains focused on the US data,” the trader said on Friday. “Despite the Philippine inflation data coming lower than expected, the reaction was muted even in the fixed-income market.”

Headline inflation slowed to 2.7% in June from the 3.2% tallied in May and 5.2% pace in June 2018. It was also the slowest since the 2.6% print in August 2017.

The June result fell within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 2.2-3% forecast for the month and was lower than the 2.9% median estimate in BusinessWorld’s poll of 12 economists conducted late last week.

“The slowdown of inflation in June 2019 was mainly driven by slower annual rate posted in the index of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages at 2.7% [from 3.4% in May],” the Philippine Statistics Authority said in a statement.

Another trader said the softer inflation print last month boosted “further bets of a possible BSP rate cut in the August Monetary Board meeting.” — Karl Angelo N. Vidal