THE PESO closed at a three-year high against the greenback on Monday amid rising coronavirus infections and escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The local unit finished trading at P49.25 per dollar on Monday, strengthening by eight centavos from its P49.33 close on Friday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed. The peso’s finish is its strongest since the P49.17-per-dollar close on Nov. 15, 2016, said Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort.

The peso opened Monday’s session at P49.30 per dollar. Its weakest showing was at P49.32 while its strongest was at P49.16 against the greenback.

Dollars traded climbed to $838.17 million on Monday from the $472.5 million seen on Friday.

The peso rose as the dollar continued to weaken, a trader said.

“The weaker dollar was because of the rising infections. The currency was dragged,” the trader said in a phone call.

Mr. Ricafort said the dollar also weakened due to heightened tensions between the US and China.

China on Monday took over a US consulate in Chengdu as a retaliatory move for the closure of a Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas last week, Reuters reported.

For today, the trader expects the peso to move within the P49 to P49.30 band versus the dollar while Mr. Ricafort sees the local unit playing around the P49.15 to P49.35 levels. — LWTN with Reuters