Peso ‘more stable’ despite uncertainties

Published February 6, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chino S. Leyco

The Philippine peso remains one of the “more stable” Asian currencies despite being among the worst performing last year, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.

Gil S. Beltran
Gil S. Beltran

Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran, said the peso is currently moving in tandem with 12 Asian currencies and is one of the least volatile currencies in the world’s fastest growing region.

“The Philippine peso is one of the seven Asian currencies that appreciated during the first month of 2019,” Beltran said, noting it appreciated 0.73 percent from P52.56 against the US dollar to P 52.17.

“On average, 12 Asian currencies appreciated by 0.79 percent,” said Beltran, who is also the DOF’s chief economist.

The Philippine peso depreciated by 5.4 percent last year, ranking fourth among 12 Asian currencies in a region where the average depreciation is 3.03 percent.

“The Philippine peso is also among the least volatile with coefficient of variation at 0.32 percent year-to-date, tying with South Korean won as the third least volatile currency. In 2018, the coefficient of variation of the peso was recorded at 1.91 percent, ranking seventh among 12 currencies,” Beltran said.

For 2019, the finance official said the peso continues to be one of the more stable Asian currencies despite the uncertainties in the world market brought about by the normalization of US Federal Reserve monetary policy, Brexit, volatile fuel prices and US-China trade war.

“The country also had to raise policy rates to counter inflationary pressures due to the drop in agricultural production and geopolitical issues that pushed petroleum price to its highest level in four years,” Beltran said.