BSP says no peso 'free-fall' as analysts see P52-level breach


Posted at Aug 18 2017 03:47 PM

MANILA - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla said Friday the peso would not "free-fall" against the dollar, even as analysts predict a breach of the P52-level.

The peso fell to as much as P51.63 in intra-day trading, from Thursday's close of P51.335.

"The exchange rate will take care of itself, it won't free-fall because the fundamentals are strong," Espenilla told reporters.

"By policy choice, the peso is market-determined, with the (BSP's) objective is to keep inflation low and stable," he said.

The peso's decline was "expected" as the government's P8-trillion infrastructure program drives imports to outgrow exports, ATR Asset Management research head Jomar Lacson told ANC's Market Edge with Cathy Yang.

Lacson said the peso could weaken to as much as P52 to the dollar.

Government spending on infrastructure helped offset a slowdown in private investments, bringing second quarter economic growth to 6.5 percent, faster than the previous three months and exceeding economists' forecasts.