Peso declines on US jobs report

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THE PESO dropped on better-than-expected US payrolls data. — BW FILE PHOTO

THE PESO declined against the dollar on Monday following the better-than-expected jobs report in the United States.

The local unit ended Monday’s session at P52.14 versus the greenback, down four centavos from the P52.10-per-dollar finish last Friday.

The peso traded weaker the whole day, opening the session at P52.20 per dollar and climbing to a high of just P52.11 intraday. Meanwhile, its intraday low stood at P52.245 versus the US currency.

Dollars traded thinned to $873.93 million from the $964.52 million that switched hands the previous session.

“The peso weakened today following the relatively firm US jobs data last week which tempered some dovish pressures on the greenback,” a trader said in an e-mail on Monday.

On Friday, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the US economy added 196,000 jobs in March. This was better than the 175,000 jobs expected by the market.




On the other hand, the unemployment rate was steady last month at 3.8%, sitting below the 5% upper threshold considered as strong by the US Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, another trader said the peso moved sideways yesterday as it opened the session weaker due to the better non-farm payrolls data.

The second trader added that the local unit rebounded in the afternoon session due to the “risk-on sentiment in the market.”

“There was also a risk-on sentiment in the market, that’s why we saw stronger peso in the afternoon session. Somehow, we saw dips and highs for today,” the trader said.

Trading is suspended today in commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan.

Other Asian currencies also faltered on Monday as the rebound in US payrolls data supported the greenback, offsetting optimism of a Sino-US trade deal and further China policy stimulus.

Leading declines in the region, the South Korean won weakened as much as 0.7% to 1,144.0 per dollar, sliding to a more than five-month low.

“It appears that underlying caution may resurface and prevail over exuberance; keeping emerging Asia forex and asset markets reined in; even if not on the back foot,” said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank in a note.

Washington and Beijing wrapped up their latest round of trade talks on Friday and are scheduled to resume discussions this week to try to secure a pact to end their bitter tariff war. — KANV with Reuters