Peso ends at new 12-year low
The Philippine peso closed at a new 12-year low as it closed at P53.27 against the US dollar on Thursday, down from the previous day's P53.23.
The currency had been declining due to the prospects of a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve which would strengthen dollar assets. On Wednesday, the Fed raised its benchmark short-term interest rate a quarter percentage point.
The peso could decline when trading resumes on Monday following the central bank's release of the first quarter balance of payments, said BDO market strategist Jonas Ravelas.
The central bank said balance of payments position recorded a deficit of $1.2 billion after yielding a surplus of $505 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. This quarter’s deficit was also higher than the $994 million deficit posted in the same quarter a year ago, the central bank said.
Ravelas said outlook is for the peso "weakening further" unless the central bank doesn't raise rates. The central bank raised policy rates by 25 basis points on May 11 due to rising prices.
The peso hit the day's low of P53.37 against the US dollar.
Volume rose to $796.45 million from Wednesday's $773.17 million.
The Philippine Stock Exchange closed 73.44 points lower to 7,529.54. In the broader market, there were 110 decliners, 76 gainers and 57 shares unchanged.
Volume reached 940.36 million worth P12.31 billion from Wednesday's 814.89 million shares valued at P7.65 billion. Foreigners were net sellers at P9.64 billion compared to buying worth P7.42 billion.
Most active shares were led by SM Prime, down 4.79 percent to P34.75; Ayala Land, down 2.49 percent to P34.75, Metrobank, down 2.99 percent to P74.75. DMS