THE PESO strengthened versus the greenback on Thursday as global oil prices declined and as the central bank kept benchmark rates steady at its policy review.
The local unit ended trading at P50.23 on Thursday, appreciating by 16 centavos from its P50.39 finish on Wednesday, based on data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines.
The peso opened Thursday’s session at P50.33 per dollar. Its weakest showing was at P50.375, while its intraday best was its close of P50.23 against the greenback.
Dollars traded increased to $1.274 billion on Thursday from $1.133 billion on Wednesday.
A trader said in an e-mail that the peso gained versus the dollar amid the decline in crude prices.
Reuters reported Thursday that oil prices dropped to near six-week lows after China said it was moving to release reserves. Brent crude slipped by 41 cents or 0.5%, to $79.87 a barrel by 0712 GMT. Meanwhile, US crude declined by 70 cents or 0.9% to $77.66 a barrel.
Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the result of the central bank’s policy meeting also boosted the peso.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Thursday kept benchmark rates unchanged to support the continued recovery of the economy. This was in line with the expectations of 20 analysts polled by BusinessWorld last week.
For Friday, the trader gave a forecast range of P50.15 to P50.40, while Mr. Ricafort expects the local unit to move within P50.15 to P50.35 per dollar. — LWTN with Reuters