The peso logged new high against the greenback on Friday on profit-taking amid prospects of weaker US economic data.
The local unit closed trading P49.041 per dollar, inching up by less than a centavo from its P49.05 finish on Thursday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.
This is the peso’s strongest finish in more than three years or since its P48.95 close on Nov. 11, 2016.
Week on week, the peso strengthened by 10.90 centavos from its P49.15 close on July 30.
The local unit started Friday’s session at P49.072 versus the dollar. Its weakest was at P49.105 while its intraday best was its P49.041 close.
Dollars traded rose to P647.4 million on Friday from the $587.1 million logged on Thursday.
There was preference for the peso over the dollar amid prospects of likely bleak US economic data, a trader said.
“The peso appreciated from profit-taking amid expectations of continued weakness in the US labor reports,” the trader said in an email.
Although initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 249,000 to 1.186 million for the week ended Aug. 1, about 31.3 million people received jobless claims in mid-July, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing data from the US Labor Department.
Data on July US non-farm payrolls and unemployment rate was set for release later on Friday.
The peso likely gained on the back of demand for the government’s retail treasury bonds (RTB), said Michael L. Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.
“Recent RTB offering which is scheduled until today, may have attracted some investors, partly supporting the peso,” Mr. Ricafort said in a text message on Friday. — LWTN with Reuters