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Peso weakens on strong US data


THE PESO ended weaker against the dollar on Monday following stronger US employment data and the downward revision to Philippine economic managers’ growth forecast for next year.

The local unit closed at P56.02 versus the dollar on Monday, losing 28 centavos from its P55.74 finish on Friday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines’ website showed.

The peso opened Monday’s session at P55.74 against the dollar. Its weakest point was at P56.05, while its intraday best was at P55.72 versus the greenback.

Dollars exchanged went down to $1.15 billion on Monday from $1.28 billion on Friday.

“The peso depreciated following the release of robust US employment reports for November 2022,” a trader said in an e-mail.

US employers hired more workers than expected in November and increased wages, shrugging off mounting worries of a recession, Reuters reported on Monday.

Household employment decreased for a second straight month. About 186,000 people left the labor force, keeping the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.7%.

The peso also depreciated on Monday after the country’s economic managers revised their growth forecast for 2023, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

After a meeting on Monday, the Development Budget Coordination Committee lowered its gross domestic product growth forecast for 2023 to 6-7% from 6.5-8% previously.

For Tuesday, the peso might weaken further due to expectations of faster Philippine inflation in November, the trader said.

The trader gave a forecast range of P55.90 to P56.15 per dollar on Tuesday, while Mr. Ricafort said the peso could move from P55.90 to P56.10. — KBT

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