THE PESO strengthened versus the greenback on Tuesday, supported by upbeat investor sentiment following stock market gains and the decline in global oil prices.

The local unit closed at P51.26 per dollar on Tuesday, gaining three centavos from its P51.29 finish on Monday, based on data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines.

The peso opened Tuesday’s session weaker at P51.35 versus the dollar. Its worst showing was at P51.40, while its intraday best was at P51.20 against the greenback.

Dollars exchanged increased to $1.041 billion on Tuesday from $827.5 million on Monday.

The peso appreciated following gains in the local stock market, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index rose by 35.57 points or 0.49% to close at 7,288.21 on Tuesday. The broader all shares index also increased by 16.97 points or 0.44% to 3,864.48.

The local benchmark climbed even as Asian shares and US futures fell sharply on Tuesday, with investors nervous about the potential for military conflict in Ukraine and ahead of a key Federal Reserve meeting that could offer hints about the timing and pace of rate hikes, Reuters reported.

Benchmarks slid, with most extending losses in afternoon trade. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 1.43% to its lowest in a month. The Nikkei closed down 1.66%, having earlier touched its lowest level since December 2020.

Meanwhile, a trader said the peso appreciated on the back of the decline in global oil prices.

Reuters reported that oil prices were down by about 2% on Monday, on concerns over quicker-than-expected rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve.

However, Brent crude futures have risen by 61 cents or 0.7% to $86.88 per barrel by 0722 GMT of Tuesday, while the US West Texas Intermediate futures climbed 44 cents or 0.5% to $83.75 a barrel. This, amid escalating tension in Eastern Europe and the Middle East over worries on possibly supply disruptions.

For Wednesday, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P51.15 to P51.35, while the trader expects the local unit to move within P51.10 to P51.35 per dollar. — LWTN with Reuters