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Peso hits P52.70:$1; a new near 12-yr low

THE peso closed the week at another near 12-year low against the dollar, weighed down by geopolitical tensions and worries over a new US interest rate hike next month.

The currency closed 15 centavos down at P52.70 to the dollar, its lowest since a P52.74:$1 finish on July 19, 2006.

“Early today, the dollar weakened due to profit taking following US President [Donald] Trump’s cancellation of the June 12 meeting with North Korea,” Land Bank of the Philippines market economist Guian Angelo Dumalagan said.

The peso opened at P52.58:$1 and traded between P52.50 and P52.70.

“The greenback, however, jumped towards the end of the day after North Korea expressed their continued interest in meeting with the US about the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Dumalagan added.

The peso, described as Asia’s worst-performing currency this year, first touched the P52:$1 level on February due to a widening trade deficit and Fed rate hike concerns.

Minutes of the last US Federal Reserve meeting released on Wednesday, meanwhile, pointed to policymakers noting the need for a rate hike “soon”, which observers said could be announced next month.

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