Peso hits fresh 7-yr low

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The peso slipped to its lowest level in seven years on Friday as investors sought the safety of the US dollar against emerging market currencies.

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The Philippine currency lost 0.59 percent or 29 centavos against the greenback to close at P48.95 to $1. It was the weakest level for the local unit since reaching P48.99 to $1 on April 29, 2009.

The “USD/PHP was pummeled into submission, soaring higher as the dollar continued to lord it over emerging market currencies,” Nicholas Antonio Mapa, Bank of the Islands associate economist, said.

Foreign investors were also seen heading for the exits as fast as they could, dragging the peso after the Philippine Stock Exchange index broke through the 7,000-point support level.

The peso opened at P48.77 to $1 at the Philippine Dealing System, before trading between P48.77 and P478.96. Total transactions rose to P707.5 million from P357 million in the previous session.

MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

MC/CC

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