September 29, 2023

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Peso may move sideways vs dollar ahead of inflation data

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THE PESO could trade sideways against the dollar this week as the market awaits the release of March inflation data and ahead a trading break in observance of Holy Week.

The local currency closed at P54.36 versus the greenback on Friday, climbing by 5.5 centavos from Thursday’s P54.415 finish, Bankers Association of the Philippines data showed.

Week on week, the peso inched down by a centavo from its P54.35 finish on March 24.

The peso opened Friday’s session stronger at P54.35 per dollar. Its worst showing was at P54.385, while its intraday best was at P54.28 versus the greenback.

Dollars traded declined to $942.6 million on Friday from the $1.01 billion recorded on Thursday.

The peso rose against the dollar on Friday, supported by remittance inflows in anticipation of an extended Holy Week break, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

Hawkish statements from BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla also boosted the peso, Mr. Ricafort added.

It may be too soon for the Philippine central bank to pause from raising interest rates at its next policy meeting in May, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe M. Medalla said, signaling its most aggressive tightening cycle in two decades could continue, Bloomberg reported.

May is “too early” to pause, “unless we actually see a price fall,” Mr. Medalla said in an interview Thursday on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations forum in Bali, Indonesia. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas expects headline inflation this month to cool to a range of 7.4%-8.2% when the statistics agency reports the data on April 5, it said in a monthly forecast on Friday.

The BSP remains “cautious” and needs to see “enough low month-on-month inflation, to give the public confidence that the BSP forecast of inflation averaging 2.9% is quite likely,” Mr. Medalla said in the interview, referring to its 2024 estimate.

Annual inflation stood at 8.6% in February,…


2023-04-02 09:00:24

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