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Peso slides to 7.5-yr low


The peso on Friday plummeted to its seven-and-a-half-year low, nearing the 49:$1 level. It reflects the slide in the local stock market to below the 7,000 mark.

The peso closed the week at 48.95:$1, the weakest since April 28, 2009’s close of 48.995:$1.

At the Philippine Dealing System, the peso hit an intraday low of 48.96:$1 and a high of 48.77:$1.

The total volume traded jumped to $707.5 million from $357 million last Thursday.

“The US dollar-peso (pair) was pummeled into submission, soaring higher as the dollar continued to lord it over emerging market currencies. Foreign investors were also heading for the exits as fast as they could, pulling down the peso after the PSEi broke through the 7,000 handle,” Bank of the Philippine Islands associate economist Nicholas Antonio T. Mapa said.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo told reporters that monetary authorities were “not concerned about the level of the exchange rate.”

“As you know, the exchange rate is driven by both fundamentals and sentiment. At one point, the peso was a lot weaker. But in earlier years, the peso was doing (a stronger) 43-44:$1,” Guinigundo said.

“It’s more on the volatility in the foreign exchange market that we have to monitor regularly. It’s important that we keep the volatility in check because that can affect the sentiment of the business community as well as investor sentiment,” he said.

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