Peso declines further on US GDP data

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THE PESO finished the week lower against the dollar yesterday amid a quiet trading session due to upward-revised US economic growth in the second quarter.

The local currency ended at P51.17 versus the greenback on Thursday, down four centavos from Wednesday’s P51.13-per-dollar finish.

The peso opened weaker at P51.21 and hit an intraday low of P51.23 against the dollar. Its intraday peak was at P51.12-to-the-dollar.

A trader attributed the peso’s weak finish against the dollar to thin trading.

“Again, just like the previous trading day, it was still at range. Market was just trading since there’s no sentiment present, which was also apparent in the lesser volume yesterday,” the trader said by phone on Thursday.

Dollars traded on Thursday stood at $494.5 million, down from the $567.45 million that changed hands in the previous session.

Meanwhile, another trader said the local currency’s weak finish was limited versus the greenback due to a selloff among local exporters towards the end of the trading session.

“The dollar closed higher after but its upside finish was capped due to month-end selling of exporters,” the trader said in a phone interview yesterday.

An economist from a local bank said the revision in second quarter US gross domestic product (GDP) growth data also put pressure on the local currency.

“The resilience of the US economy was a major factor for the weakness of the peso. With the 2Q US growth figures being revised up, the dollar steadied after gains from the previous trading day,” Union Bank of the Philippines chief economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion said by e-mail yesterday.

Reuters reported the US economy expanded by 3% second quarter, higher than the 2.6% pace initially reported last month, on the back of strong consumer spending and business investment.

Most emerging Asian currencies also slipped on Thursday after the dollar rose broadly as the  stronger-than-expected US GDP data boosted expectations for a solid US jobs report. — Janine Marie D. Soliman