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Peso down on US stimulus delay

THE PESO weakened against the greenback on Thursday on muted investor appetite following stalled discussions for a fresh stimulus fund in the United States.

The local unit closed at P48.065 versus the dollar on Thursday, losing 1.5 centavos from Wednesday’s finish of P48.05, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Thursday’s session at P48.10 per dollar, which was its weakest showing for the day. Meanwhile, its intraday best was at P48.05 versus the greenback.

Some $498.1 billion changed hands on Thursday, down from $505.8 billion on Wednesday.

The peso’s depreciation came as the dollar strengthened on risk-off sentiment following delays in the passage of a fresh US stimulus, said Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort.

“The peso was slightly weaker after the deadlock in the US stimulus package and sell-off in some technology shares,” Mr. Ricafort said in a text message.

US legislators extended government funding by another week to buy them time for further discussions on a pandemic relief package, Reuters reported.

The release of the trade data showing a decline in exports also weighed on the peso on Thursday, Mr. Ricafort added.

Data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed October merchandise exports slipped 2.2% to $6.202 billion, coming from a growth of 2.9% and 0.5% in September and October 2019, respectively. With this, exports in the 10 months to October shrank 12.8% year on year to $16.256 billion.

For today, Mr. Ricafort expects the peso to play around the P48.01 to P48.11 band versus the dollar. — LWTN with Reuters

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