THE PESO strengthened further versus the greenback on Tuesday after inflation slightly eased in September.

The local unit closed at P50.65 per dollar on Tuesday, appreciating by five centavos from its P50.70 finish on Monday, based on data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines.

The peso opened Tuesday’s session at P50.82 per dollar, which was also its weakest showing. Meanwhile, its intraday best was at P50.625 versus the greenback.

Dollars exchanged rose to $1.019 billion on Tuesday from the $857.54 million recorded on Monday.

The peso appreciated from its Monday finish on the back of positive market sentiment as inflation was slower than expected in September, a trader said.

Headline inflation stood at 4.8% in September, slowing from the 4.9% logged in August but faster than the 2.3% print recorded in the same month last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Tuesday.

The latest figure is below the 5% median in a BusinessWorld poll conducted late last week and is at the low end of the 4.8%-5.6% estimate given by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the month.

Headline inflation averaged at 4.5%, still above the BSP’s 2-4% target and 4.4% forecast for this year.

Meanwhile, gains at the local stock market also pushed the peso higher, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.

Philippine shares posted gains on Tuesday on the back of the better-than-expected September inflation print and improving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) numbers.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index rose by 20.35 points or 0.29% to end at 6,981.24 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index gained 9.98 points or 0.23% to finish at 4,358.17. 

On Monday, the country logged 10,748 new COVID-19 infections. Active cases stood at 106,160.

For Wednesday, the trader gave a forecast range of P50.55 to P50.80 per dollar, while Mr. Ricafort expects the local unit to move within P50.55 to P50.75. — LWTN