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Peso steady on subdued trade ahead of holidays

peso steady on subdued trade ahead of holidays - Peso steady on subdued trade ahead of holidays

THE PESO ended steady against the greenback on Monday, backed by remittance flows despite some uncertainties on a US stimulus bill as well as the rise in coronavirus infections.

The local unit finished trading at P48.085 versus the dollar on Monday, unchanged from its Friday close, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened the session at P48.09 per dollar. Its weakest showing was at P48.095 while its intraday best was at P48.05 against the greenback.

Dollars traded slumped to $399.9 million on Monday from the $797.82 million seen on Friday.

The peso’s movement versus the dollar during the session reflects “subdued” activity amid the shortened trading week ahead of Christmas, a trader said.

“The peso closed unchanged as market activity remained relatively subdued ahead of the holiday season and as participants remained uncertain over a second US stimulus bill,” the trader said in an e-mail.

Reuters reported that legislators finalized a $900-billion pandemic response package and have ironed out their arguments related to the US Federal Reserve’s pandemic lending authorities. Voting was expected after local market hours on Monday.

Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said holiday flows supported the peso’s strength despite risk-off sentiment on news about the mutation of the coronavirus disease 2019.

For Tuesday, the trader expects the peso-dollar exchange rate to move between P48 to P48.10, while Mr. Ricafort gave a tighter forecast range of P48.03 to P48.10. — L.W.T. Noble with Reuters

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