Spot USD/PHP holds a familiar range, last trades -0.020 at PHP52.940. Gains have stalled just shy of the PHP53.000 figure, the upper end of the range (PHP48-53) which back in January Gov Diokno flagged as Bangko Sentral's comfort zone. Recent relatively hawkish (by regional standards) posturing by the central bank may be keeping a lid on USD/PHP, although the involvement of direct BSP participation cannot be ruled out, with officials known to have intervened in FX markets earlier this year.
- From a technical perspective, if buying pressure results in a break of PHP53.000, bulls could eye further gains towards Jan 22, 2019 high of PHP53.040 and Dec 20, 2018 high of PHP53.250. Conversely, a pullback below the PHP52.500 mark would give bears some reprieve.
- USD/PHP 1-month NDF last -0.020 at PHP53.140. Familiar contours of the technical picture remain intact, with Jun 6 high of PHP53.280 providing the initial topside target & May 30 low of PHP52.230 drawing bearish attention.
- The Philippines' unemployment rate slipped to 5.7% in April from 5.8% recorded in March as the labour market continued to tighten. The underemployment rate also moderated (to 14.0% from 15.8%), but so did the participation rate (to 63.4% from 65.4%).
- Outgoing BSP Gov Diokno said that the central bank is working on big data projects, which include a news sentiment index, which could be operational by 2023. The index could complement other data signals in guiding policy decisions.