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Peso rises on upbeat data from US, China

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PHILSTAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

By Karl Angelo N. Vidal, Reporter

The peso strengthened slightly against the dollar on Tuesday, April 17, as the pair traded sideways on the back of strong data from the US and China.

The local currency ended Tuesday’s session at P52.05 against the greenback, two centavos stronger than the P52.07-per-dollar finish the previous day.

The peso opened the session slightly stronger at P52.05 versus the greenback, which was also its best showing for the day. Meanwhile, it dipped to as low as P52.11, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

Dollars traded slipped to $427.3 million from the $518.1 million tallied on Monday.

A trader said in a phone interview that the trading session was “uneventful.”

“We traded within the range. Clearly, there’s no direction whether to move higher or lower. We don’t have anything to go on as well today,” the trader told BusinessWorld.

Meanwhile, another trader attributed the sideways movement to the upbeat data from the US and China.

“The peso went sideways today as the US reported stronger retail sales yesterday and China posting sustained growth for the first quarter this year this morning,” the trader said in an e-mail.

Reuters reported that the US retail sales rebounded in March after three months of decline as Americans purchased motor vehicles and other big-ticket items.

Meanwhile, China’s economy grew 6.8% in the first quarter, slightly better than expected, driven by strong consumer demand, healthy exports as well as robust property investment, also according to Reuters.

“[These left] markets indecisive as the two world’s largest economies seemingly came unscathed despite trade war rhetoric in the past few months,” the trader added.