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Opinion

Philippine peso flashes warning signs for Dutertenomics

Violence and policy drift deter currency traders

| Philippines
  © Reuters

Strongman Rodrigo Duterte is presiding over one of the world's peppiest economies. Philippine growth is a China-like 6.5%, a long-delayed infrastructure boom is picking up pace and tourists are flocking to the archipelago's bevy of white-sand beaches.

But an important constituency is not buying the Philippines renaissance story: currency traders. The peso is Asia's worst performer this year, down more than 3%, while virtually all other Asian governments are struggling to cap surging exchange rates. The Thai baht and Singapore dollar, for example, are up 8% and 7% respectively.

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