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Peso weakens to near 13-year low

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AFP

THE PESO weakened against the dollar to a near 13-year low on Thursday amid risk-off sentiment due to continued concern over trade tensions overseas.

The local unit ended Thursday’s session at P53.80 versus the greenback, plunging by 25 centavos from the P53.55-per-dollar finish on Wednesday.

This is the peso’s worst showing in nearly 13 years since it closed at P53.985 against the dollar on Dec. 12, 2005.

The peso opened the session slightly stronger at its best showing of P53.525 per dollar. Its intraday low was its closing rate.

Dollars traded declined to $911.5 million on Thursday from the $1.38 billion that switched hands the previous session.

A foreign exchange trader said the peso weakened against its US counterpart as investors tried to push the resistance level further.

“The peso finally broke the resistance at P53.55. We broke to the P53.80 level simply because the offer interest at P53.55 moved [weaker],” the trader said in a phone interview.

“At this point, our historical low was too far already so the market is running blind without the selling interest at the top side.”

The trader added that risk-off sentiment continued to prevail among players amid a sell-off in emerging markets.

“The local currency significantly weakened on safe-haven dollar demand amid lingering global trade fears involving the US, China and Canada,” another trader said in an e-mail on Thursday.

Reuters reported that US President Donald J. Trump said Washington was not yet ready to settle trade disputes with Beijing, although he noted that talks would continue.

The second trader said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) was seen intervening at the P53.80-per-dollar level.

For Friday, the first trader expects the peso to move between P53.80 and P54 versus the dollar, while the other gave a P53.75-P53.95 range. — K.A.N. Vidal





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