THE PESO strengthened versus the greenback on Tuesday following gains at the stock market and weak US data. 

The local unit closed at P50.401 per dollar on Tuesday, gaining 24.4 centavos from its P50.645 finish on Monday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed. 

The peso opened Tuesday’s session at P50.65 versus the dollar. Its weakest showing was at P50.67, while its intraday best was at P50.32 against the greenback. 

Dollars traded dropped to $859.9 million on Tuesday from $967.5 million on Monday. 

The peso rose to track the stock market’s climb, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said. 

The Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 47.73 points or 0.73% to close at 6,561.41 on Tuesday. The broader all shares index likewise increased 19.31 points or 0.48% to finish at 4,072.47. 

Meanwhile, a trader said the local unit strengthened after the weaker-than-expected US consumer sentiment report. 

The preliminary consumer index sentiment index conducted by the University of Michigan saw a reading of 70.2 in the first half of August, falling from the 81.2 final print in June, Reuters reported. This was the lowest level since 2011 and was below the 81.2 forecasted by economists who participated in a Reuters poll. 

The survey’s gauge of current economic conditions also fell to 77.9 from 84.5 in July while its measure of consumer expectations slid to 65.2 from 79.0 in July. 

For today, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P50.30 to P50.50 per dollar, while the trader expects the local unit to move between 50.25 and 50.50. — LWTN with Reuters