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Peso inches sideways as investors await BSP decision

THE PESO barely moved against the greenback on Wednesday as investors waited on the sidelines for the policy decision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and following the latest uptick in oil prices.

The local unit closed at P48.066 a dollar, depreciating from its Tuesday finish of P40.063, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso traded within a tight range, opening the session at P48.06 versus the dollar. Its weakest showing was its close of P48.066 while its strongest level was at P48.05 against the greenback.

Dollars exchanged inched up to $499.86 million on Wednesday from the $490.65 million seen on Tuesday.

A trader the peso’s minimal movement on Wednesday came as the market awaits the policy decision of the BSP this Thursday.

The BSP is widely expected to retain the current key policy rates, based on a BusinessWorld poll held last week where 15 analysts said the overnight reverse repurchase rate, currently at a record low of two percent, will remain untouched.

Aside from the BSP policy meeting, the market also tracked the latest uptick in oil prices, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.

Reuters reported that the price of Brent crude rose by 47 cents or 0.9% to $50.76 per barrel while that of the US West Texas Intermediate crude gained 1.3% or 63 cents to $47.62 a barrel on Tuesday.

The trader said trading will remain cautious today as they await the central bank’s policy guidance for 2021.

The trader expects the exchange rate to move around the P48 to P48.10 levels while Mr. Ricafort gave a slightly higher forecast range of P48.02 to P48.12 per dollar. — with Reuters

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