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Peso weakens versus dollar

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THE PESO weakened against the dollar on Monday as it slipped back to the P54 level due to the continued trade spat between the United States and China and amid stronger-than-expected remittance growth.

The local unit ended Monday’s session at P54.11 versus the greenback, 14 centavos weaker than the P53.97-per-dollar finish last week.

The peso traded weaker the whole day, opening the session at P54.10 against the US currency. It declined to as low as P54.28, while its best showing stood at P53.10 versus the dollar.

Trading volume grew to $807.2 million from the $660.15 million that exchanged hands on Friday.

A foreign exchange trader said the peso-dollar pair saw volatile trading yesterday.

“We saw the peso went [weaker] at P54.28 due to corporate demand. Near the close, we saw some reversal as intervening banks put it [stronger],” the trader said in a phone interview on Monday.

The trader added the peso traded weaker even after the release of data showing remittance growth strengthened year on year.

Money sent home by Filipinos abroad reached $2.401 billion in July, up 5.2% from the $2.283 billion received a year ago.

“The peso is still showing resilience as July remittances showing recovery,” UnionBank of the Philippines chief economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion said in a text message.

However, he noted the intraday low of P54.28 may signify the continued investor concerns over the trade spat between the United States and China.

US President Donald J. Trump is expected to announce another round of tariffs on about $200 billion on Chinese goods as early as Monday.

Mr. Trump has already directed his aides to proceed with the levies despite the attempts of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to restart trade talks with China.

For Tuesday, the trader said the peso will move between P54.05 and P54.20, while Mr. Asuncion gave a P53.90-P54.20 range.

“The local currency might strengthen tomorrow on profit-taking after today’s intraday record low amid lack of economic data movers,” another trader said in an e-mail, giving a forecast range of P54-P54.20. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal





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