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Philippine Peso Drops Most Since January; Government Bonds Fall

The Philippine peso weakened the most since January, erasing this year’s gains, on speculation the central bank will step up efforts to curb capital inflows. Government bonds fell.

The currency fell for a fourth day after Governor Amando Tetangco reiterated yesterday the monetary authority could introduce more steps to rein in the exchange rate. The peso rose 4 percent in the past year, the second-best performance in Asia after the Thai baht. The nation won its first investment-grade rating March 27 from Fitch Ratings. The peso’s decline tracked a slide in regional currencies after the Bank of Japan announced a plan to double asset purchases that tend to devalue the yen.

“The peso is fundamentally sound and supported by the latest rating upgrade,” said Reuben Mark Angeles, head of research at First Metro Securities Brokerage Corp. in Manila. “They don’t want it to be too strong relative to other regional currencies.”

The peso weakened 0.6 percent to 41.155 per dollar in Manila, the biggest drop since Jan. 28, according to data from Tullett Prebon Plc. The currency may trade between 40.80 and 41 through the end of June, Angeles said. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected exchange-rate moves used to price options, jumped 13 basis points, or 0.13 percentage point, to 3.97 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Overseas investors bought $1 billion more local stocks than they sold this year, compared with $430 million in the same period in 2012, exchange data show. The benchmark share index has rallied every month since August and reached an all-time high on April 1.

Yen Slides

The yen slumped the most in 17 months against the dollar after Japan’s central bank said it will buy 7 trillion yen of bonds a month, exceeding the median 5.2 trillion yen estimated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against the currencies of six major trading partners, rose 0.7 percent. The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index, which tracks the 10 most-active currencies in the region excluding the yen, dropped 0.2 percent.

The yield on the 6.125 percent bonds due October 2037 increased 12 basis points to 3.9 percent, according to Tradition Financial Services. It reached 3.71 percent on April 2, the lowest level since the securities were sold in October.

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