Philippine Peso General Info
The Philippine peso is termed an ‘exotic’ currency, which means that there is far less participation in the market for pesos than in the market for more established currencies, such as euros or Australian dollars. For this reason, the price paid to change your money into or from pesos (the price being equivalent to the market bid-ask spread) is far higher relative to the amount of money being changed than it would otherwise be.
‘Liquidity’ in the peso market, or the level of participation, is also far less than in many other emerging market currencies, including the Indian rupee, the South African rand, the Brazilian real and even the Thai baht, among others. In fact, even though the Philippine peso is the world’s thirty-third most traded currency (as of 2016), peso trading contributes to just 0.1% of the foreign exchange market’s total daily turnover.
As an exotic currency, the peso is considered riskier than currencies from major developed nations, which means that its value will fall against the FX majors (especially JPY, USD, CHF, GBP and EUR) during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.
Since 2000, the peso’s lowest valuation against the US dollar came in April 2004 when USD/PHP reached 57.72. Its post-2000 high occurred in January 2000 when USD/PHP fell to just 39.28.PHP Foreign Transfers PHP Travel Money Read our Travel Guide to Philippines
Philippine Peso - Recent Performance
By mid-October, the peso remained Asia’s worst performing currency of the year. It stood at historically weak levels.
Against the dollar, during the two-month period between mid-August and mid-October, the peso tested the major 51.60 level multiple times. A breach of August’s USD/PHP high of 51.66 would take the peso to its weakest level in eleven years. At the time of this report, USD/PHP had settled back in the 51.30s.
Within the same period against the euro, the peso was little changed at rates close to 61.5 but it was also close to multi-year lows (EUR/PHP highs).
2017’s peso weakness has been driven predominantly by a deterioration in the Philippines’ current account, which is showing a deficit for the first time in fifteen years. The deficit is forecast to be USD 600 million in 2017 but is expected to balloon to levels above USD 1.5 billion in 2018.
Forecasts for the peso remain gloomy; the most recent being September’s prediction by Alpari’s chief analyst, Thomasz Wisniewski, that the peso would weaken to 53.0 per dollar by the end of the year. During an interview with the ANC’s Market Edge program, Wisniewski described his forecast as a “sure bet.”