THE PESO strengthened versus the greenback on Monday as US inflation fell within expectations and bets that the Philippine central bank would keep rates steady at its policy review this week.
The local unit closed at P50.32 per dollar on Monday, gaining three centavos from its P50.35 finish on Friday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.
The peso opened Monday’s session at P50.28 versus the dollar, which was also its intraday best for the day. Meanwhile, its weakest showing was at P50.37 against the greenback.
Dollars exchanged declined to $658.1 million on Monday from $696.3 million on Friday.
The peso appreciated on Monday as US inflation was within market expectations, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.
Data released by the US Labor department showed the consumer price index rose by 6.8% year on year, which was the biggest increase since 1982. This was in line with the forecast of analysts in a Reuters poll.
Meanwhile, a trader in an e-mail said the peso strengthened due to market expectations that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas would maintain its accommodative policy stance at its meeting on Thursday.
All 15 analysts polled by BusinessWorld last week unanimously expect the Monetary Board to keep rates steady to support the economy amid a looming threat from the Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease 2019.
For Tuesday, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P50.20 to P50.40 per dollar, while the trader expects the local unit to move within P50.20 to P50.45. — LWTN with Reuters