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Peso among Asia's most stable currencies in Jan.

After sliding to its 12-year lows last year, the peso rebounded in January and was among the most stable currencies in the region at the start of the year, the Department of Finance said.

In an economic bulletin, Finance Undersecretary and chief economist Gil S. Beltran said the Philippine peso strengthened by 0.73 percent in January to 52.17:$1 from 52.56 to a greenback at the end of 2018.

This reversed the peso's 5.43-percent depreciation in 2018.

Beltran noted that the peso was the fourth weakest currency last year among 12 Asian currencies whose average depreciation in 2018 was 3.03 percent.

But in January, the peso joined six other currencies that appreciated: the Chinese renminbi/yuan, Indonesian rupiah, Japanese yen, Malaysian ringgit, Singapore dollar and the Thai baht.

In contrast, the Hong Kong dollar, Indian rupee, New Taiwan dollar, South Korean won and Vietnamese dong depreciated in January.

Across the 12 currencies, the average appreciation was 0.79 percent.

Beltran said the peso was among the least volatile currencies last month, with a coefficient of variation of 0.32 percent, just behind the Vietnamese dong's 0.06 percent, the Hong Kong dollar's 0.07 percent, and at par with the South Korean dong's 0.32 percent.

A currency's volatility refers to the magnitude of fluctuation against the US dollar.

Last year, the peso had a volatility of 1.91 percent, the seventh highest among the 12 Asian currencies.

'The peso continues to be one of the more stable Asian currencies despite the uncertainties in the world market,' Beltran said.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 7, 2019
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