Peso flirts with P54:$1 on trade war, inflation worries

THE Philippine peso is flirting with the 54-to-$1 level in early trading on Friday, weighed by the trade tension between the US and China and the nine-year high inflation in August.

The local currency hit an intra-day low of P53.975:$1, or 2.5 centavos short of P54.

The last time the peso touched the 54-to-a dollar level was on Dec. 2, 2005—at 54.155.

It depreciated against the dollar for the third consecutive trading day on September 6, to close its worst level in nearly 13 years.

“The peso’s decline is due to safe haven buying due to possible imposition of new US tariffs on Chinese goods as well as concerns about elevated Philippine inflation,” Land Bank of the Philippines market economist Guian Angelo Dumalagan said.

Inflation clocked in at 6.4 percent in August, the fastest in over nine years since in came in at 6.6 percent in March 2009.

On the global front, nerves were frayed as the public comment period for proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports ends at 0400 GMT, and the tariffs could go into effect shortly afterward, a report by Reuters said.

China has warned of retaliation if Washington implements any new measures. (GMA News)

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