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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, August 7, 2018
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Peso posts 2-month high vs. USD


MANILA - The Philippine peso closed at nearly a two-month high against the US dollar yesterday but the Philippine Stock Exchange index slipped again on profit-taking.

The local unit gained Php0.3 after closing at 52.85 from 53.15 Friday last week. Its closing level at the start of this week is the local currency’s strongest level after the 52.70 finish on June 8, 2018.

It opened the day at 53.1, better than the 53.15 start in the previous session.

It traded between 53.135 and 52.84, resulting to an average of 53.04.

Volume reached USD892.9 million, higher than the USD595.15 million at the end of last week.

ING Bank Manila Senior Economist Joey Cuyegkeng, in a research note, said he expects stronger output from emerging market currencies this week following the weaker-than-expected data from the US last week.

One of these economic reports is the July 2018 nonfarm payrolls, which increased by 157,000 but is the lowest rise since last March.

Eagerly awaited by investors are; government's July 2018 inflation report on Tuesday, the June 2018 trade data on Wednesday, and second quarter 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) on Thursday. Also due on Thursday is the Monetary Board's (MB) policy rate decision.

Cuyegkeng said these reports would have implications on the domestic financial markets, citing among others, that “sustained upward trend of inflation would likely raise the possibility of a 50 basis points hike at the Thursday meeting (of the MB).”

To date, the peso has weakened by about 6.45 percent against the greenback.

The local unit is expected to trade between 52.80 and 53 to a dollar today.*PNA


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