THE PESO strengthened versus the greenback on Tuesday as the country’s dollar buffers rose as of August and on expectations of softer US inflation.
The local unit closed at P49.91 per dollar on Tuesday, gaining 6.5 centavos from its P49.975 finish on Monday, based on data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines.
The peso opened Tuesday’s session at P49.90 per dollar. Its weakest showing was at P50, while its intraday best was at P49.855 against the greenback.
Dollars exchanged declined to $678.45 million on Tuesday from $843.45 million on Monday.
The peso climbed against the greenback following the release of data showing the country’s foreign exchange buffers rose as of August, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.
Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released on Monday showed the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) increased 0.84% to $108.046 billion at end-August from the $107.151 billion as of July, and by 9.2% from the $98.954 billion a year earlier. The end-August GIR level was the highest in seven months or since the $108.673 billion seen as of January.
The BSP attributed the higher GIR to the $2.777-billion increase in special drawing rights from the International Monetary Fund.
Meanwhile, a trader said expectations of softer US consumer inflation also boosted the peso.
The US Labor department was due to report August inflation data later on Tuesday. In July, the US consumer price index rose 0.5% in August.
For Wednesday, both Mr. Ricafort and the trader gave a forecast range of P49.80 to P50 per dollar. — LWTN