Peso 'relatively stable' despite recent weakness: Tetangco

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 20 2017 02:01 PM

Philippine central bank Governor Amando Tetangco gestures during an interview with Reuters at the central bank headquarters in Manila, Philippines, January 11, 2017. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

MANILA – The peso will be “relatively stable” in the near term, despite weakening to P50 against the dollar, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco said Friday.

While the central bank leaves the exchange rate to market forces, Tetangco said the BSP “reserve(s) scope for possible participation in the forex market to avoid sharp fluctuations that can be destabilizing.”

“We try to minimize volatility but we do not go against the fundamental trend. We allow the peso to appreciate or depreciate, but we want to see an orderly adjustment,” Tetangco told ANC’s “The Boss.”

The peso briefly touched the psychological P50 to the dollar level on Thursday, for the second time in a month, due to hawkish statements from Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen and lingering uncertainty over US President-elect Donald Trump’s policies.

The local currency rebounded on Friday. It averaged P49.907 in early trading from Thursday’s close of P49.98.

Tetangco said the peso’s weakness was “in the middle of the pack” compared to other currencies in Asia.

“We’re not the most appreciated or the least appreciated. We’re not the most volatile. We’re in the middle,” he said.