Philippine peso near 3-month high after Moody's upgrade

Reuters

Posted at Dec 11 2014 05:20 PM | Updated as of Dec 12 2014 01:20 AM

SINGAPORE - The Philippine peso hit a near three-month high on Thursday after Moody's Investors Service raised the country's sovereign rating, leading gains among emerging Asian currencies as the dollar broadly slid.

The peso rose as much as 0.4 percent to 44.47 per dollar, its strongest since Sept. 25.

Moody's upgraded its rating on the Philippines by one notch to Baa2 from Baa3 with a stable outlook, citing a decline in debt burden and structural improvements in fiscal management.

"It will be a reminder to the market Philippines' fundamentals stand out quite well, particularly relative to the likes of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia," said Jonathan Cavenagh, senior FX strategist with Westpac in Singapore.

The upgrade will drive the peso's outperformance against other Southeast Asian currencies, Cavenagh added.

The Philippine currency has eased 0.2 percent against the dollar so far this year, becoming the second best-performing emerging Asian currency after the Thai baht, Thomson Reuters data showed.

In May, Standard & Poor's raised the Philippines' credit rating to BBB, two notches above investment grade.