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Peso weakens further

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THE PESO extended its drop against the dollar to hit another three-week low, worsened by market jitters over the US-China trade dispute.

The local unit ended the session at P52.76 versus the dollar on Thursday, down two centavos from the P52.74-per-dollar finish the previous day. This was the peso’s worst performance since it closed at P52.805 against the dollar last Nov. 15.

The peso opened the session a tad stronger at P52.70 against the dollar, which was yesterday’s best showing. On the other hand, it slid to as low as P52.91 versus the US currency intraday.

Dollars traded declined to $993.25 million versus the $1.283 billion that switched hands the previous session.

Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, UnionBank of the Philippines chief economist, said the peso’s decline may be attributed to the “market jitters” about the future of the trade truce between China and the United States.

“Nervousness came from the arrest of Huawei CFO [chief financial officer] in Canada,” Mr. Asuncion said in a text message. “The arrest of the Huawei CFO may undermine the truce. China has already intimated its protest about the said arrest.”

For today, Mr. Asuncion expects the peso to trade between P52.50 and P52.80, while a trader gave a P52.70-P52.90 range. — KANV