THE PESO rebounded on strong economic growth data.

THE PESO strengthened against the dollar on Wednesday on the back of the rebound in economic growth as well as the growth in gross international reserves (GIR).

The local unit closed P50.481 against the greenback on Thursday, stronger by 12 centavos from its P50.61-a-dollar finish on Wednesday.

The peso opened weaker at P50.68 versus the dollar. Its weakest point for the day was at P50.69, while its intraday best was at P50.42 against the greenback.

Dollars traded on Thursday rose to $1.15 billion from the $1.112 billion recorded on Wednesday.

A trader said the peso’s rebound came after the release of third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data by the Philippine Statistics Authority yesterday.

“The peso appreciated on investor optimism after the Philippine annual economic growth recovered at 6.2% in the third quarter of 2019, which was better than market expectations,” the trader said in an email.

“The peso exchange rate strengthened today from the positive GDP growth data beating market expectations. Peso also gained after stronger GIR data,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a text message on Thursday.

The economy grew 6.2% in the third quarter of the year, with the government catching up on spending after delays in the passage of the national budget took its toll on expansion in the first half.

Meanwhile, gross international reserves climbed to $85.702 as of end-October, up 0.14% from the $85.581 billion seen at end-September and surpassing the $74.71 billion logged as of October 2018.

For today, the trader sees the peso moving within the P50.35-P50.55 range while Mr. Ricafort said it could trade around the P50.30-50.60 band. — L.W.T. Noble