The Philippine peso weakened on speculation the central bank may reduce borrowing costs, while local currency bonds fell ahead of a debt auction.
Monetary policy easing in early 2012 is possible as inflation slows and the growth outlook deteriorates, central bank Governor Amando Tetangco said on December 21. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will review its benchmark interest rate on January 19. The Bureau of the Treasury will offer 9 billion pesos (Dh752 million) of securities due August 2018 tomorrow.
"Slowing global growth and a possible rate cut early this year will not favour gains in the peso," said Ricky Cebrero, head of treasury at Philippine National Bank in Manila.
The peso declined 0.2 per cent to 43.92 per dollar from December 29 at the close in Manila, according to Tullett Prebon. Local financial markets were shut on December 30. The currency strengthened as much as 0.4 per cent earlier. It will probably trade between 43 and 44 this quarter, Cebrero said.
The yield on the 7.375 per cent peso bond due in March 2021 advanced 18 basis points, or 0.18 percentage point, from December 28 to 5.30 per cent, according to Tradition Financial Services.
Local debt markets were closed on December 30 and no prices are available from Tradition for December 29. The government said on Sunday it's ready to start 141.8 billion pesos worth of road, bridge, port, irrigation, flood control and school-building projects this month as Europe's worsening debt crisis slows global growth. The nation allotted 182.2 billion pesos for public works this year, 26 per cent more than the 2011 plan, the budget department said in an e-mailed statement on Sunday.
The nation is assessing "market appetite and pricing" for the sale of as much as $1.5 billion (Dh5.5 billion) of dollar-denominated securities approved by the central bank, Finance Undersecretary Rosalia de Leon said on December 29. The Philippines may offer bonds with maturities shorter than the 15-year global debt sold in 2011 if the euro-area debt crisis persists, de Leon said last week.