Peso inches up ver­sus the dol­lar on eased lock­down

Business World - - Banking & Finance - KKTJ

THE PESO inched up ver­sus the dol­lar on Wed­nes­day amid the ex­tended im­ple­men­ta­tion of the gen­eral com­mu­nity quar­an­tine in Metro Manila and ex­pec­ta­tions the cen­tral bank will keep rates un­changed at its meet­ing to­day.

The lo­cal unit closed at P48.495 ver­sus the dol­lar on Wed­nes­day, up by less than a cen­tavo from its P48.50 fin­ish on Tues­day.

The peso opened Wed­nes­day’s ses­sion stronger at P48.41 against the dol­lar. It reached a peak at P48.38 but suc­cumbed to the dol­lar’s strength as it closed nearer to its in­tra­day low of P48.50 ver­sus the green­back.

Dol­lars traded rose to $726.57 mil­lion on Wed­nes­day from $536.21 mil­lion on Tues­day.

Rizal Com­mer­cial Bank­ing Corp. Chief Econ­o­mist Michael L. Ri­cafort said in a text mes­sage that the peso inched up ver­sus the dol­lar fol­low­ing the ex­ten­sion of cur­rent quar­an­tine pro­to­cols in Metro Manila, which boosted sen­ti­ment as more peo­ple can re­turn to work.

Mean­while, a trader said in an e-mail that the peso rose as the mar­ket ex­pects the Bangko Sen­tral ng Pilip­inas (BSP) to keep bench­mark rates steady as it meets to­day.

The BSP is widely ex­pected to leave bench­mark in­ter­est rates un­touched as it wants to leave some room for fur­ther ad­just­ments in case eco­nomic re­cov­ery lags, an­a­lysts said.

In a BusinessWo­rld poll held last week, 14 of 15 an­a­lysts said they ex­pect the Mone­tary Board (MB) to keep in­ter­est rates steady at its fifth pol­icy-set­ting re­view for the year on Oct. 1.

The MB has cut rates by 175 ba­sis points so far this year. Rates on the overnight re­verse re­pur­chase, lend­ing, and de­posit fa­cil­i­ties are cur­rently record lows of 2.25%, 2.75% and 1.75% re­spec­tively.

Mr. Dio­kno ear­lier said the cur­rent pol­icy stance may be kept for the next few quar­ters. He said the BSP still has bul­lets when needed and is com­mit­ted to a “long-term low in­fla­tion regime” and will con­tinue to do what they have done “for maybe another two years.”

For to­day, Mr. Ri­cafort sees the peso mov­ing from P48.45 to P48.55 ver­sus the dol­lar while the trader ex­pects it to range from P48.30 to P48.50. —

BW FILE PHOTO

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