THE PESO closed flat against the dollar following the faster March inflation print.
The local currency ended yesterday’s session at P52.115 versus the dollar, almost flat from the P52.12-per-greenback finish on Wednesday.
The peso moved sideways throughout the trading session, opening slightly weaker at P52.125. Its worst showing stood at P52.16, while its intraday high was at P52.09.
Dollars traded slid to $483 million from $504.4 million on Wednesday.
“The peso slightly gained strength today following the release of stronger Philippine inflation data released earlier this morning,” a trader said in an e-mail on Thursday.
Headline inflation accelerated to 4.3% year-on-year in March under the 2012 base year, the Philippine Statistics Authority announced yesterday. This was faster than the previous month’s 3.8% and the 3.1% increase in the same month in 2017.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas expects the inflation “to average near the high-end of the target range in 2018 before decelerating further to the midpoint of the target range in 2019.”
Meanwhile, Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist of UnionBank of the Philippines, attributed the slight appreciation of the peso to the “alleviation of fears” from the trade spat between the US and China.
“It seems that the alleviation of fears from the brewing trade war between China and the US was stronger than the impact of rising March domestic inflation,” he said via text.
For today, the trader sees the peso moving between P52 and P52.30, while Mr. Asuncion sees the peso moving back within the P51 range. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal