THE PESO rose against the dollar on Wednesday as Philippine headline inflation slowed in March and following the release of weaker US jobs data.
The local currency closed at P54.40 versus the dollar on Wednesday, appreciating by 9.5 centavos from Tuesday’s P54.495 finish, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines’ website showed.
The peso opened Wednesday session at P54.45 per dollar. Its intraday best was at P54.31, while its worst showing was at P54.54 versus the greenback.
Dollars traded climbed to $1.24 billion on Wednesday from the $889.7 million recorded on Tuesday.
Philippine financial markets will be closed from April 6-11 for non-working days in commemoration of Holy Week and the Day of Valor.
The peso climbed against the dollar as inflation eased further in March, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.
“The peso appreciated after the March local headline inflation level was recorded lower at 7.6%, below market expectations of 8%,” a trader likewise said in an e-mail.
Headline inflation eased to 7.6% from 8.6% in February, preliminary data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on Wednesday showed. Still, this was faster than the 4% print in the same month last.
The March consumer price index (CPI) was the slowest since the 6.9% recorded in September 2022.
For the first three months, headline inflation averaged 8.3%, higher than the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) forecast of 6% and the 2-4% target for the year.
A second trader said the peso was supported by a weaker dollar following weaker US jobs data.
The US dollar was stuck near two-month lows on Wednesday as weak economic data bolstered views that the Federal Reserve is near the end of its tightening cycle, Reuters reported.
The dollar index, which measures the currency against six peers, eased to a fresh two-month low of 101.43, after dropping 0.5% overnight. It was last at 101.57.
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