THE peso strengthened further to a fresh one-month high against the dollar following upbeat Chinese trade data.

The peso ended the week at P51.765, against the P51.835 finish on Thursday.

This was the peso’s best showing in more than a month or since it closed at P51.72 on March 4.

The peso opened Friday’s session weaker at P52.05, slipping to as low as P52.09 intraday. However, it recovered to close at its best showing of the day.

Trading volume grew to $998.4 million from the $690.5 million that changed hands the previous day.

Traders said the peso was bolstered by the Chinese trade data for March.

Chinese exports rose 14.2% year-on-year last month, beating the consensus view of around 7.3%.

Chinese imports fell 7.6% year-on-year in March, exceeding market expectations of a 1.3% decline.

These brought the Chinese trade balance to a $32.64-billion surplus in March.

“The peso appreciated following the upbeat Chinese exports data which supported the recovery in its manufacturing sector for March 2019,” a trader said in an e-mail.

Meanwhile, another trader said the peso declined in the morning session after risk-off sentiment prevailed following the positive jobless claims data in the US.

The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits declined to 196,000 for the week ended April 6, the lowest level since 1969.

“We also want to note that today is Friday (which is when) remittances are coming in for the weekend, so banks would want to mark the dollar-peso lower so they can somehow buy the remittances cheaper,” the second trader added. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal