Home Top News Peso slumps to near 19-month low

Peso slumps to near 19-month low

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THE PESO sank to a near 19-month low on Thursday due to a strong dollar as US Treasury yields surged amid a hawkish US Federal Reserve.

The local unit closed at P58.635 per dollar on Thursday, weakening by 21.5 centavos from its P58.42 finish on Wednesday, Bankers Association of the Philippines data showed.

This was the peso’s worst finish in almost 19 months or since its P58.80-per-dollar close on Nov. 3, 2022.

The local unit is now down by P3.265 from its end-2023 close of P55.37 versus the greenback.

The peso opened Thursday’s session weaker at P58.50 against the dollar, which was already its intraday best. Its worst showing was at P58.73 versus the greenback.

Dollars exchanged inched down to $1.39 billion on Thursday from $1.4 billion on Wednesday.

The peso slumped due to a generally stronger dollar following a rise in US Treasury yields, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

“The dollar strengthened across the board with higher Treasury yields and recent hawkish Fed speak. The market was a bit on the edge with sticky inflation potentially indicating higher rates for longer,” Security Bank Corp. Chief Economist Robert Dan J. Roces likewise said in a Viber message.

The dollar held steady on Thursday after rising to a two-week high as a rout in US Treasuries pushed up yields, boosting the currency’s allure, Reuters reported.

The index tracking the US currency against its major peers climbed to 105.18 overnight, the highest since May 14, and was slightly lower at 105.05 in early European trading.

A two-day, 15-basis-point jump above 4.6% for long-term Treasury yields helped push the dollar higher. The rise in yields, which move inversely to prices, has been driven by a spate of stronger-than-expected data, tough words from Federal Reserve officials, and a run of poorly received bond auctions.

Expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate reductions this year have been pared back amid signs of sticky inflation, most recently with a surprise uptick in consumer sentiment in data on Tuesday.

Traders currently see 56.6% odds of a quarter-point cut by the conclusion of the September meeting, down from 57.5% odds a week ago, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

For Friday, Mr. Roces said peso-dollar trading will be driven by the second estimate for first-quarter US gross domestic product scheduled for release overnight.

Mr. Ricafort expects the peso to range from P58.50 to P58.70 per dollar on Friday. — A.M.C. Sy with Reuters

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