THE PESO strengthened against the greenback on Wednesday amid easing oil prices and the month-end dollar flows.

The local unit closed at P48.53 per dollar on Wednesday, appreciating by 1.5 centavos from its P48.545 finish on Tuesday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso also strengthened by four centavos from its P48.49 finish on March 26. The market is closed on Thursday and Friday in view of the Holy Week holidays.

The peso opened Wednesday’s session at P48.535 per dollar. Its weakest showing was at P48.60, while its intraday best was at P48.515 against the greenback.

Dollars traded increased to $933.19 million on Wednesday from $770.67 million the day prior.

The peso appreciated on the back of easing oil prices, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.

Oil prices dropped by more than 1% on Tuesday following the reopening of the Suez Canal after being blocked by a container carrier for nearly a week, Reuters reported.

Brent crude price declined 1.2% or 84 cents to $64.14 per barrel. Meanwhile, the West Texas Intermediate ended the session with its price falling by 1.6% or $1.01 to $60.55 a barrel.

Meanwhile, a trader attributed the peso’s gains to month-end dollar flows as well as preference for the local unit amid a likely quicker European inflation print. — L.W.T. Noble