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Peso moves sideways before announcement of new Metro Manila restrictions

THE PESO inched sideways versus the greenback on Thursday, with investors still waiting for the government’s announcement on mobility restrictions for next month and as oil prices dropped.

The local unit closed at P50.71 per dollar on Thursday, inching up from its P50.72 finish on Wednesday.

The peso opened Thursday’s session weaker at P50.77 against the dollar. Its weakest showing was at P50.80, while its intraday best was at P50.70 versus the greenback.

Dollars traded went up to $899.73 million on Thursday from $824.84 million on Wednesday.

The peso moved sideways the market was waiting for the government’s announcement on restriction measures for November, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 until Oct. 31.

The National Economic and Development Authority on Thursday said easing restrictions in the capital to Alert Level 2 could add P3.6 billion to the economy weekly. If the region is placed under Alert Level 1, this could add P10.3 billion, along with 43,000 new jobs.

Meanwhile, a trader said the peso gained versus the dollar on the back of lower global oil prices.

Reuters reported on Thursday that fuel prices dropped to a two-week low as rising infections in major economies dented hopes for economic recovery.

Brent crude declined 94 cents or 1.1% to $83.64 a barrel by 0655 GMT after hitting a two-week low of $82.32 earlier. Meanwhile, US oil inched down 89 cents or 1.1% to $81.77 a barrel — a one-week low after dropping 2.4% on Wednesday.

For Friday, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P50.63 to P50.78 per dollar, while the trader expects the local unit to move within P50.55 to P50.80. — L.W.T. Noble with Reuters

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