THE PESO strengthened slightly on Friday on optimism that the US and China will have an interim trade deal by October.
The local unit closed at P51.91 against the greenback on Friday, climbing two centavos from its P51.93-to-a-dollar finish on Thursday.
On a week-on-week basis, the peso ended a tad weaker than its P51.905-to-a-dollar close on Sept. 6.
The peso opened at P51.88 against the dollar. It traded in a tight range, with its weakest point recorded at P51.911, while its intraday best was at P51.77 against the greenback.
Dollars traded on Friday recovered to $1.172 billion versus the $1.170 billion on Thursday.
“The peso appreciated after US President Donald Trump [said he] is considering to close an interim deal with China ahead of the scheduled October 2019 trade talks in Washington,” one trader said.
This was also echoed by Rizal Banking Commercial Corp. economist Michael L. Ricafort, who added that the trade deal with China “would delay or roll back some tariffs provided that China increases purchases of US agricultural products and protect US intellectual property rights.”
“Thus, this has supported the latest gains in the global financial markets including the peso.”
Reuters reported that deputy trade negotiators are due to meet in Washington in mid-September, with minister-level talks to follow in October. Exact dates for the meetings have not been released.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to meet in early October in the US capital, but key officials are tamping down expectations for a major accord. — Luz Wendy T. Noble with Reuters