The peso strengthened against the dollar on Monday as remittances enter the country amid the holiday season and following the destruction caused by Typhoon Odette.

The peso closed at P49.93 per dollar on Monday, gaining nine centavos versus its P50.02 finish on Friday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The local unit opened Monday’s session at P50 against the dollar. Its intraday best was at P49.90, while its lowest point for the session was at P50.02 versus the greenback.

Dollars traded declined to $887.35 million on Monday from $900.65 million on Friday.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the peso closed stronger against the dollar on Monday due to increased remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) following the typhoon and amid the holiday season.

“Storm damage from Typhoon Odette especially in hard hit areas in the Visayas and Mindanao could lead to the sending of more OFW remittances to finance repairs,” he said.

Financial aid from the international community would also partially support the peso, he added.

Meanwhile, a trader in an e-mail said the peso appreciated amid concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease 2019, which affected demand for the dollar.

For Tuesday, Mr. Ricafort said he expects the peso to trade within P49.80 to P49.98 per dollar, while the trader gave a forecast range of P49.85 to P50.05. — JPI