Peso weakens further ahead of US CPI data


THE PESO weakened further against the dollar ahead of the release of November US consumer inflation data, which could affect the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision this week.

The local currency ended at P55.90 against the greenback on Tuesday, dropping by 25 centavos from Monday’s P55.65 close, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines’ website showed.

The peso opened Tuesday’s session at P55.64 per dollar, a tad stronger than its Monday close. Its weakest showing for the day was at P55.92, while its intraday best was at P55.60 versus the greenback.

Dollars traded jumped to $1.12 billion on Tuesday from $683.95 million on Monday.

The trader said in a Viber message that the peso declined as the dollar rose against most Asian currencies on Tuesday ahead of the release of November US consumer price index (CPI) data overnight.

“Looks like this is just an unwinding of bearish dollar bets ahead of key data,” the trader said.

The dollar was firm on Tuesday leading in to the release of US CPI data and the final Fed meeting of the year, with investors waiting to update interest rate outlooks, Reuters reported.

The dollar gained 0.8% on the yen on Monday and was steady at 137.70 yen through the Asia session on Tuesday.

The Fed is seen to hike rates by just 50 basis points (bps) at their Dec. 13-14 meeting following four straight 75-bp increases.

Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message that the peso dropped as the dollar gained after oil prices settled up about $2 a barrel on Monday on supply jitters.

On Wednesday, Mr. Ricafort expects the local unit to move from P55.80 to P56 per dollar. — AMCS with Reuters

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