Peso sustains climb

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THE PESO continued to soar against the dollar on Tuesday to hit its highest level in over three months as anticipation over the Philippine tax reform package and uncertainty over the US tax reform grew.

The local currency finished at P50.35 against the greenback yesterday, 16 centavos stronger than its P50.51 close on Monday. Yesterday’s finish was also its best level since its P50.16-per-dollar finish last Aug. 8.

The peso traded stronger the whole day, opening the session at P50.40, while its intraday low was seen at P50.43. Its best showing for the day was at P50.315 against the greenback.

Dollars traded increased to $696.45 million on Tuesday from $655.06 million in the previous session.

Traders attributed the peso’s gain to anticipation for the first tax reform package in the Senate.

“The US dollar was steady, however, the peso [seems] to be gaining strength on the anticipation that the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) will very soon pass the Senate,” Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist at UnionBank of the Philippines, said in an e-mail.

As the tax plan in the Philippines grew anticipation in the market, a trader said the US counterpart drew uncertainty. This week, the US Senate will look into their version of tax reform, which plans to cut corporate levies.

Meanwhile, traders added that they are awaiting for the speech of incoming US Federal Reserve chair Jerome H. Powell in his confirmation hearing.

They expect the peso to play within the P50.20-P50.50 level today. — K.A.N. Vidal