Peso weakens on ‘hot money’ data

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THE PESO declined further versus the dollar on Thursday on data showing more foreign portfolio investments exited the country in July.

The local unit closed at P48.63 versus the greenback on Thursday, depreciating by 11 centavos from its P48.52-per-dollar finish on Wednesday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Thursday’s session at P48.57 against the greenback. It reached a peak of P48.55 while its intraday low was at P48.68 versus the dollar.

Dollars traded climbed to $776.07 million on Thursday from Wednesday’s $481.5 million.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the peso weakened following the release of “hot money” data.

Foreign portfolio investments left the country for the fifth straight month in July on weak investor confidence amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hot money — called as such due to the ease by which these funds enter and leave an economy — yielded a net outflow of $453.17 million in July, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released yesterday showed. This was the fifth consecutive month of net outflows since March.

The year-to-date tally likewise yielded a net outflow of $3.8 billion, surging from the net $706-million that exited the country in the January to July 2019 period. The central bank expects $2.4 billion in net inflows of hot money this year.

Mr. Ricafort added that the dollar strengthened on improved appetite for the dollar amid progress in the clinical trials of the Moderna vaccine being conducted in the United States.

For today, Mr. Ricafort expects the peso to move within the P48.55 to P48.75 levels versus the dollar. — K.K.T. Jose