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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 8, 2018
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Peso back at 52 to 1 USD level


MANILA - The continued anticipation of another increase in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ key rates before yearend lifted the peso back to the 52-to-the-greenback level yesterday, but the Philippine Stock Exchange index retreated again ahead of a growth report.

The peso ended the day at 52.95 to the greenback, its strongest after the 52.85 close last August 16.

Aside from rate hike expectations from the central bank, a trader also cited profit-taking as a result of the peso’s performance during the day.

Expectations of a positive domestic output for the third quarter also helped the peso, the trader said.

The government is scheduled to report the third quarter 2018 gross domestic product today, and some economists forecast a 6-percent level output.

Growth in the first half of the year averaged 6.4 percent, with the first quarter figure at 6 percent and the second quarter at an upwardly revised 6.2 percent.

For the day, the local currency opened at 52.93, way better than the 53.21 a day ago.

It improved to as much as 52.89 but was also pulled to 53.11, resulting in an average of 52.992.

Volume surged to USD1.447 billion from USD983.78 million in the previous day.

Meanwhile, the main equities index fell 2.04 percent, or 146.18 points, to 7,033.93 points.

The BPI, in its market report, traced this development to risks from US mid-term elections and the wider-than-expected trade deficit of the country.

Citing reports, the bank said Democrats posted victory in the House of Representatives while Republicans kept a slim majority in the Senate.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported a further increase in the country’s trade deficit to USD3.9 billion last September. This, after imports grew by 26.1 percent while exports contracted by 2.6 percent.

With these factors, most of the other counters also finished in the red, with the All Shares own by 1.67 percent, or 73.16 points, to 4,298.92 points.*PNA


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