Peso falls to 5-month low

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The peso hit its weakest level against the US dollar in five months on Thursday in a market reaction to lower growth projections for the Philippines for 2014-2015 and almost flat import data for July.

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The local currency opened at P44.43 to $1 on the Philippine Dealing System (PDS) before trading between P44.42 and P44.79. It closed at P44.77, the weakest level since April 25 when the peso traded at P44.64 per dollar.

The peso shed 31 centavos from the P44.46 close on Wednesday. Volume transacted on the PDS rose to $878.500 million from $656.600 million traded Wednesday.

Analysts said the peso’s weakness could be traced to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) downward revision to its growth outlook for the Philippines and the soft import print in July.

In its Asian Development Outlook 2014, the Manila based-lender cut its growth forecast for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) this year to 6.2 percent from 6.4 percent. It also trimmed the growth outlook for 2015 to 6.4 percent from 6.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Philippine merchandise imports in July posted an almost flat .002 percent year-on-year growth following a revised 1.4 percent contraction in June.

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