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Peso strengthens on strong foreign investment data

Peso strengthens on strong foreign investment data

The peso closed stronger Friday in response to positive foreign investment data released by the central bank.

The peso closed at P49.865 against its Thursday ending level of P49.92, the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) said.

The peso opened the session at P49.94, with a high of P49.83 and a low of P49.96.

Dollar trading volume was $774.19 million, down from $1.164 billion Thursday.

The peso was weaker compared to its week-earlier close of P49.84 on Sept. 3.

The market was reacting to a central bank report on foreign direct investment (FDI), Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.

FDI net inflows rose 60.4% year-on-year in June to $833 million, according to preliminary data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The June total nearly doubled the $433 million result from May. That month, FDI had fallen 25% year-on-year.

First-half FDI net inflows rose 40.7% year on year to $4.298 billion.

Mr. Ricafort added that the government’s announcement of a new “granular” lockdown policy starting Sept. 16 also helped support the peso.

The government’s pandemic task force said the new guidelines on lockdowns have been “provisionally approved” for pilot implementation in Metro Manila between Sept. 16 and 30.

The new scheme will only have two community quarantine classifications with an “alert level” system to be determine by the health department every week. It will also implement barangay-level lockdowns in areas with high casec count.

A trader said the peso appreciated in anticipation of a weak US producer price report for August. – Beatrice M. Laforga

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