The Philippine peso retreated on Thursday against the US dollar as market players were risk-averse amid fears of the novel coronavirus (n-CoV) spreading potential.
The local currency lost 7 cents to close Thursday at P50.98:$1 from Wednesday’s P50.91:$1 finish.
Therefore, fears about the new coronavirus led partly to an increase in market risk aversion, especially in affected Asian countries, with possible adverse effects on the regional economy and financial markets similar to MERS or SARS in the past, “he explained. On December 21, 2019, nCoV broke out in China’s Wuhan City, with 222 cases reported across China, Thailand, Japan, and Korea.
According to Ricafort, the peso’s weakness on Thursday could have been tempered once local economic data were released.
Earlier in the day, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced an economic growth of 6.4% in the fourth quarter, higher than 6.0% in the third quarter and 6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Nonetheless, the latest figure took the full-year growth to 5.9 percent, slipping from 6.0 percent to 6.5 percent short full-year target.