UPDATE: Peso hits P50:$1 before closing at P49.98

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(Updates with the closing exchange rate)

EXPECTATIONS of a US Federal Reserve rate hike in December continued to weigh on the Philippine peso, driving the local currency to hit the P50:$1 level in Thursday’s trade.

The peso opened at P49.95 to $1 from P49.86 on Wednesday, before trading between P49.94 and P50.00 against the dollar. It closed at P49.98:$1, a new eight-year low.

“FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] minutes of November meeting were released yesterday. Many participants expressed the view that it could be appropriate to raise rates relatively soon as long as incoming data and labor market conditions continue to be in line with their objectives,” said Metrobank Research in a note.  MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

MC/nt

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