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Peso weakens vs dollar

THE PESO dropped on expectations of more imports. — BW FILE PHOTO

THE PESO retreated versus the greenback on Wednesday amid expectations of a further reopening of the economy, which could lead to higher imports.

The local unit ended trading at P50.57 per dollar on Wednesday, depreciating by 18 centavos from its P50.39 close on Tuesday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Wednesday’s session at P50.50 per dollar, also weaker from its finish on Tuesday. Its worst showing was at P50.59, while its intraday best was at P50.45 versus the greenback.

Dollars exchanged decreased to $941.7 million on Wednesday from $1.149 billion on Tuesday.

The peso weakened amid the prospects of a further relaxation of mobility restrictions as cases continue to go down, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.

“This (decline in cases) could justify measures to further reopen the economy that could entail some pickup in importation activities,” Mr. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

There will be no more curfew hours in the National Capital Region starting Thursday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” D. Abalos, Jr. announced on Wednesday. The area is under Alert Level 3 until Nov. 14.

The Department of Health earlier said Metro Manila could be put under the more relaxed Alert Level 2, meaning more businesses can expand their operating capacity.

Active cases rose by 1,591 on Wednesday to 38,014, based on Department of Health data.

Meanwhile, a trader said the peso depreciated versus the dollar as investors were on a wait-and-see approach ahead of the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.

The market is widely expecting the Fed to announce the start of its reduction of asset purchases at the close of its policy review from Tuesday to Wednesday.

For Thursday, Mr. Ricafort expects the local unit to move within P50.45 to P50.65 per dollar, while the trader gave a forecast range of 50.45 to P50.70. — L.W.T. Noble

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