Thursday, December 7, 2023
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THE PESO depreciated against the dollar anew on Wednesday on expectations of a pickup in US consumer inflation last month. The local currency closed at P56.72 versus the dollar on Wednesday, weakening by seven centavos from Tuesday’s P56.65 finish, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines’ website showed.

The local unit opened Wednesday’s session at P56.68 per dollar. Its intraday best was at P56.60, while its weakest showing was at P57.73 against the greenback. Dollars traded went down to $1.02 billion on Wednesday from $1.11 billion on Tuesday.

The peso was dragged down by expectations of faster US inflation in August, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

“The peso depreciated anew amid potentially higher US consumer inflation reports due to be released tonight,” a trader likewise said in an e-mail.

US consumer prices likely increased by the most in 14 months in August amid a surge in the cost of gasoline, but an expected moderate rise in underlying inflation could encourage the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates on hold next Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The consumer price index (CPI) likely increased by 0.6% last month, according to a Reuters survey of economists. That would be the largest gain since June 2022 and would follow two straight monthly advances of 0.2%.

Mr. Ricafort added that a stronger dollar and higher global crude oil prices on Wednesday caused the peso to decline.

The dollar index, which tracks the currency against six peers, held firm, though moves were subdued, up 0.1% to 104.70, as traders awaited the US CPI reading for August.

The dollar index has surged 5% since late July and stands at its highest level in around half a year.

Meanwhile, oil prices jumped about 2% to a near 10-month high on Tuesday on a tighter supply outlook and optimism over the resilience of energy demand in major economies.

Brent futures rose by $1.42 or 1.6% to settle at $92.06 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude rose by $1.55 or 1.8% to settle at $88.84. Both benchmarks closed at their highest levels since November 2022.

For Thursday, the trader said the peso could weaken further following the US CPI report and ahead of the release of US producer price index data.

The trader sees the peso moving between P56.60 and P56.85 a dollar on Thursday, while Mr. Ricafort expects it to range from P56.60 to P56.80.

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