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Peso dips amid lack of fresh leads

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THE PESO traded sideways on Monday as it consolidated below P50 trading level amid the lack of fresh leads.

The local currency closed at P50.905 versus the dollar yesterday, dropping three and a half centavos from its P50.87 close last Friday.

The peso opened the session lower at P50.95 against the greenback, which was also its worst showing for the day. Its intraday peak was at P50.83 per dollar.

Dollars traded yesterday stood $436 million, sliding from the $1.191 billion recorded on Friday.

Traders said the peso is just consolidating following its rally last week, which saw the currency returning to the P50-per-dollar level.

“Today was just a quiet consolidation after the big move last Friday,” a trader said in a phone interview on Monday.

Friday saw the peso rally to a one month high, as dollars were sold due to the European Central Bank keeping its policy rates.

“There’s not much catalysts. I think the market is just consolidating in this new range below the P51 handle,” the trader added.

Another trader said investors remained cautious as markets await news on Hurricane Irma’s damage to the Southeast coast of the US.

“It’s really a quiet day today, mostly sideways trading.. It’s a pretty tight range actually, but I feel the market will be looking at US equities and how it will perform after Hurricane Irma,” the second trader said on Monday.

Both traders expect a P50.80-P51 per dollar range this week.

Most other Asian currencies likewise edged down on Monday, as the dollar bounced from a sell-off after North Korea marked the anniversary of its founding without resorting to any further missile or nuclear tests.

The dollar index, which tracks the US unit against a basket of six major currencies, was 0.2% higher at 91.522 after skidding to a 2-1/2 year low of 91.011 on Friday.

The United States and its allies had been bracing for another long-range missile launch. Instead, North Korea observed the 69th anniversary of its founding on Saturday with a celebration honoring the scientists behind the massive nuclear test it conducted last week.

The Chinese yuan fell 0.3%, while the ringgit was on track to snap four straight sessions of gains, down 0.2%.

The Indian rupee and the Singapore dollar also inched lower. — E.J.C. Tubayan with Reuters

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