THE peso was flat against the dollar on Friday following stronger-than-expected economic data in the United States, triggering speculation of central bank intervention in the market.
The peso ended the week at P51.70 against the dollar, unchanged from Thursday.
The peso opened weaker at P51.86, and fell to a low of P51.87 intraday, before recovering to close unchanged, which was also its intraday high.
Dollars volume fell to $872.31 million from $1.45 billion the previous day.
Traders said the peso was flat on Friday after “good” gross domestic product (GDP) growth data in the US released last night.
“Selling interest prevailed throughout the day. We saw good data overnight by the US, that’s why we opened the session weaker today. However, it was short-lived,” one trader said in a phone interview.
The US Commerce Department said on Thursday that GDP grew 2.6% in the fourth quarter, propelled by a 2.8% rise in consumer spending.
The GDP data was stronger than market expectations of 2.2%.
“The peso traded sideways today as market participants took profits from the generally stronger dollar intraday following the stronger-than-expected US GDP and personal consumption expenditure inflation reports last night,” another trader said in an e-mail.
The first trader said he believes the Bangko Sentral intervened during the trading session as agent banks were seen active.
“At the P51.70 level, we saw agent banks there, but not as heavy an intervention as yesterday,” he said.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas sometimes conducts “tactical interventions” to temper any sharp swings that may cause the peso to appreciate or depreciate. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal