Philippine Peso Drops Most Since 2013 Ahead of Manila Lockdown

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: A bank teller counts US dollars beside a pile of Philippine peso in Manila, the Philippines. (Photo: ROMEO GACAD/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A bank teller counts US dollars beside a pile of Philippine peso in Manila, the Philippines. (Photo: ROMEO GACAD/AFP via Getty Images)

By Lilian Karunungan and Masaki Kondo

The Philippine peso posted its biggest intra-day decline since 2013 as investors turned cautious ahead of a two-week strict lockdown in the Manila capital region starting Friday.

The peso slid as much as 1.2% to 50.37 against the dollar to become Asia’s worst performing currency on Thursday. Local stocks also declined after rising for three straight days. The peso’s drop comes after Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Wednesday that a reserve requirement ratio cut could be on the table. The central bank is set announce its policy decision on Aug. 12.

The peso may have weakened on “some positioning ahead of the imposition of the tighter restrictions starting tomorrow,” said Nicholas Mapa, an economist in Manila at ING Groep NV. There’s also “some chatter now also about the RRR reduction from BSP as the central bank appears to have run out of policy rate cuts for now.”

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