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Peso weakens ahead of June CPI

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THE PESO weakened slightly against the dollar on Monday as market players turned cautious ahead of the release of June consumer price index (CPI) data this week.

The local unit closed at P58.65 per dollar on Monday, down by four centavos from its P58.61 finish on Friday, Bankers Association of the Philippines data showed.

The peso opened Monday’s session stronger at P58.55. Its weakest showing was at P58.695, while it climbed to as high as P58.47 versus the greenback.

Dollars traded went down to $920.83 million on Monday from $1.17 billion on Friday.

“The peso weakened as local participants turned cautious ahead of the Philippine inflation report on Friday,” a trader said in an e-mail.

A BusinessWorld poll of 14 analysts conducted last week yielded a median estimate of 3.9% for June headline inflation, within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 3.4-4.2% forecast for the month.

If realized, the June CPI would be steady from the May print but slower than the 5.4% pace logged in the same month a year ago.

It would also mark the seventh straight month that inflation was within the BSP’s 2-4% annual target.

Higher global crude oil prices and elevated US Treasury yields also dragged the peso lower, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

In commodities, oil prices edged higher, with Brent futures 0.73% higher at $85.62 per barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude futures up 0.76% at $82.16, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, yields on benchmark US 10-year Treasuries, which move inversely to bond prices, have bounced between about 4.2% and 4.35% since mid-June, as the market digested data showing slowing inflation and signs of cooling economic growth in some indicators. The 10-year yield stood at 4.33% on Friday.

For Tuesday, the trader said the peso could weaken further against the dollar due to likely strong US manufacturing data set for release overnight.

The trader expects the peso to move between P58.55 and P58.80 per dollar, while Mr. Ricafort sees it ranging from P58.55 to P58.75. — A.M.C. Sy with Reuters

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