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Peso rebounds ahead of US economic growth report

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BW FILE PHOTO

THE PESO recovered against the dollar on Thursday amid profit taking ahead of the release of first-quarter US economic growth data.

The local currency ended at P52.14 against the greenback yesterday, nine centavos higher than its finish of P52.23 in Wednesday’s session.

The local unit traded in a wide range, opening the session at P52.32 against the greenback, while its intraday low was at P52.36. The peso’s strongest print for the day was tallied at P52.13 a dollar.

Trading volume thinned to $961 million from the $1.373 billion that switched hands the previous day.

Traders interviewed yesterday said the peso appreciated as market participants opted to take profits amid expectations of weaker US gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first quarter.

“The expectation is for a slower print so it’s quite bad for the dollar,” a trader said in a phone interview.

US economic growth data will be released on Friday.

Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. economist Michael L. Ricafort said the peso corrected versus the US currency.

“The peso was still among its three-week highs amid continued net foreign buying at the local stock market recently, at +$0.9 million today,” Mr. Ricafort said in a text message.

He added that the peso was also stronger after a “slight decline” in global oil prices as well as some depreciation in the benchmark bond yields in the US and other developed countries.

For today, the first trader expects the peso to move between P52 and P52.30 versus the dollar, while Mr. Ricafort gave a P51.90-P52.20 range.

Meanwhile, strong gains in the dollar weighed on most other Asian currencies.

The dollar index which measures the greenback versus a basket of six major peers, rose to as high as 98.189 overnight, its highest level since May 2017, largely propelled by upbeat US economic data and the euro’s weakness. — KANV with Reuters

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