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Peso weakens as sentiment sours on virus fears

peso weakens as sentiment sours on virus fears - Peso weakens as sentiment sours on virus fears

THE PESO weakened on Tuesday amid worsening sentiment as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases continue to rise.

The local unit closed at P48.46 versus the dollar on Tuesday, down by 9.5 centavos from its P48.365 finish on Monday.

The peso opened Tuesday’s session at P48.46 versus the dollar. It reached a high of P48.415 while its weakest showing was at P48.49 against the greenback.

Dollars traded dropped to $548.8 million on Tuesday from $662.83 million on Monday.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the peso declined as US stocks dropped.

“The peso was weaker amid the continued profit taking in the US stock markets index [sliding] to one-month-and-a-half lows that led to some demand for the dollar as a safe haven,” Mr. Ricafort said in a text message.

Wall Street’s main indexes closed lower on Monday as concerns about new lockdowns in Europe and possible delays in fresh stimulus from Congress raised fears the US economy faces a longer road to recovery than previously hoped for, Reuters reported.

Wall Street has tumbled in the past three weeks as investors dumped heavyweight technology-related stocks following a stunning rally that lifted the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to new highs after plunging in March as economies entered recession.

A new round of business restrictions would threaten a nascent recovery and further pressure equity markets. The first lockdowns in March led the S&P 500 to suffer its worst monthly decline since the global financial crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 509.72 points or 1.84% to close at 27,147.70; the S&P 500 lost 38.41 points or 1.16% to 3,281.06; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.48 points or 0.13% to 10,778.80.

Meanwhile, a trader said the peso weakened as the public expect more cases of COVID-19.

“The peso weakened due to market caution amid fears of a second wave contagion,” the trader said in an e-mail.

For today, Mr. Ricafort sees the peso moving from P48.40 to P48.55 versus the dollar while the trader expects the local currency to range from P48.35 to P48.55.

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